Wageningen University & Research (WUR), ForFarmers and several agricultural companies, are starting a new research program to increase the sustainability of the agricultural sector, focussing on the sustainable production of grass and forage crops. Two of our innovation managers from the Nutrition Innovation Center (NIC) at ForFarmers are intensively involved in this research program.
Research into climate-friendly cultivation
The majority of Dutch agricultural land (about 65%) is used for the production of forage for livestock, such as grass and maize. Due to this large area requirement, the way in which forage is produced has a major impact on the sustainability of Dutch agriculture as a whole. That is why WUR, in conjunction with the seed breeding sector and parties active in the agricultural production chain – including ForFarmers – will be investigating how to cultivate crops in the next four years in a way that is climate-friendly.
Why this research program?
The current way forage is produced does not exploit the potential of grass and home-grown forage; this applies to both quantity and quality. It also has an impact on the quality of ground and surface water, on soil quality, on the climate and on biodiversity. The new research program “Forage, Soil and Circular Agriculture 2020-2023” strives for sustainability in various areas. From reducing emissions to sustainable soil management and from increasing biodiversity to increasing forage quality and utilisation and to increasing the innovative strength of agribusinesses.
Governments and companies work together
The way in which the research program is organised is a public-private partnership. This means that the government via the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality – collaborates with parties from the business community, in this case the seed breeding sector and agri business. ForFarmers is one of those parties. Other parties in the consortium are Agrifirm, Cumela, Zuivel NL and Plantum. The implementation of the program lies with Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen Livestock Research and Louis Bolk Institute.
For more information, please visit www.forfarmersgroup.eu