School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Projects

SusCatt

Increasing productivity, resource efficiency and product quality to increase the economic competitiveness of forage and grazing based cattle production systems

The productivity of milk and meat production from European cattle has increased considerably in recent decades. However, the sustainability of this intensification is questioned due to environmental and animal welfare trade-offs and growing reliance on edible food and imported soya as feed. The project aims to evaluate the productivity, resource-use efficiency and consumers’ acceptability of a transition to high forage and pasture diets for European cattle. The project will focus on dairy, integrated dairy/beef and specialized beef production systems, addressing the SusAn call’s three research areas:·

The main hypotheses are that, transition to high forage and non-food diets will enhance product quality, animal health and welfare, resource-use efficiency and consumer acceptability, by matching appropriate diets, breeds and production systems and by rearing all dairy bred calves. The project involves modelling, experimental and participatory R&D activities and covers contribution from SMEs (farmers’ advisory service) pooling expertize from seven academic centres of excellence in six European countries. The work will be organised in 4 work packages; two focusing on beef and milk production, feeding into one on overall assessment of economic, resource-use efficiency and societal acceptance and the fourth is dedicated to disseminating our findings.

More information: Gillian.Butler@ncl.ac.uk