Sustainable Grassland Agriculture

 

Sustainable Grassland Agriculture

Intro

Grasslands cover approximately 25% of the terrestrial Earth surface (3.5 billion ha). Their role is multifunctional, providing both primary feed for forage-based livestock systems, whilst also providing additional ecosystem services, including storing carbon reserves, water management and wildlife habitat. Current livestock systems occupy globally about one third of available agricultural lands and contribute 40% of global agricultural output value (FAO, 2019). Globally, livestock production systems provide one third of the protein consumed by humans, with projected increasing demands for animal products due to population growth and increasing consumption per capita. Balancing increasing livestock production against increasing consumer demands to understand the impact of livestock products on the environment requires scientific innovation at a rate previously unprecedented in history as we strive to achieve the UK’s ambition of net zero carbon by 2050. 

Aim

Aim

Our aim is to enhance the sustainability of pasture-based livestock agriculture to help deliver net-zero livestock systems by 2050. By encapsulating a whole farm systems approach in our vision, livestock scientists work closely with plant breeders, soil scientists, microbiologists, ecologists and social scientists to deliver productive and resilient agri-food systems. Linking to numerous industry partners from across agricultural supply chains, our impact model utilises a participatory-farmer research approach, to provide insights on barriers to change and the science needed by the industry, to support the adoption of innovation by end-users.

Approach

Approach

Our research remit includes:

  • Net zero carbon grassland-based ruminant systems, including upland grasslands 
  • Home-grown high protein feed for ruminants and monogastrics  
  • Reducing GHG emissions from ruminants  
  • Soil protection and ecosystem services in livestock systems 
  • Knowledge exchange and implementing change in grassland agriculture 
  • Nutrient use efficiency via soil-plant-animal interactions  
  • Agriculture 4.0 and precision technologies, including innovation in silage technology 
  • Developing novel agri-food products and improving livestock product quality

At IBERS, we have the unique ability to develop novel plant resources to meet global demands for livestock systems that are sustainable, productive and resilient to the impacts of climate change. 

Outputs and Capabilities

Highlights: 

Impact Case Studies for REF ‘Reducing reliance on imported protein (soya) across a UK ruminant supply chain’  

Research Capabilities

CIEL Small Ruminant Research Platform

CIEL: the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock

Pwllpeiran Upland Research Centre

AberInnovation Future Foods Centre

 

 

Principal Investigators

Principal Investigators

Picture Name Email Telephone
Prof Alison Kingston-Smith Prof Alison Kingston-Smith ahk@aber.ac.uk +44 (0) 1970 823062
Dr Christina Marley Dr Christina Marley cvm@aber.ac.uk +44 (0) 1970 823084
Prof Jon Moorby Prof Jon Moorby jxm@aber.ac.uk +44 (0) 1970 823074
Dr John Scullion Dr John Scullion jos@aber.ac.uk +44 (0) 1970 622304
 Manod Williams Manod Williams maw90@aber.ac.uk +44 (0) 1970 622925
Dr Ruth Wonfor Dr Ruth Wonfor rec21@aber.ac.uk +44 (0) 1970 823093

Publications

Publications

More publications on the Research Portal »