Grasslands and Herbivore Production in Europe and Effects of Common Policies

by Christian Huyghe (editorial coordination), Alex De Vliegher (editorial coordination), Bert Van Gils (editorial coordination), Alain Peeters (editorial coordination)
Collection: Synthèses
march 2014
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The European project Multisward ( aims at supporting developments and innovations in grassland use and management in different European farming systems (including low-input and organic farming systems), pedoclimatic and socio-economic conditions i) to enhance the role of grasslands at farm and landscape levels to produce environmental goods and to limit the erosion of biodiversity and ii) to optimise economic, agronomic and nutritional advantages for the development of innovative and sustainable ruminant production systems.

The identification of the innovations and their implementation required an exhaustive analysis of the state of grasslands and herbivore production in Europe including how they changed over decades. The effects of public policies were investigated. The results of this analysis are published in the present book.

Table of contents


Definitions and data



Chapter 1. Importance of the grassland area and grassland-based systems in Europe and their spatial distribution

Present acreage of grasslands and annual forage crops in Europe

Spatial distribution

Grasslands in organic farming

Changes in grassland acreage in Europe

Biomass productivity from permanent and temporary grasslands

Chapter 2. Importance and changes in grazing animal production operations in Europe and their spatial distribution

Herbivore herds in Europe

Animal production

Changes in livestock populations

Changes in animal production and animal performance

Chapter 3. Importance and changes in grassland-based systems

Farm types

Changes in the number of animal holdings

Interviews with farmers and interactions between farmers and research

Chapter 4. Grasslands for alternative production

Energy production

Green biorefi nery and biochemicals production

Chapter 5. Grasslands and ecosystem services


Environmental issues related to grasslands

Grassland-based biodiversity issues

Landscape related issues

National case studies

Chapter 6. Grasslands in the economic supply chain: related industries

Forage seed industry

Interview with Beat Boller, Chairman of Eucarpia and senior forage breeder at Agroscope, Switzerland

Chapter 7. Common Agricultural Policy: brief history, structure and infl uence on grasslands


The two pillars of the CAP

Obligation of maintenance of the permanent grassland area

Agri-environmental scheme

Less Favoured Areas

Consequences of the abolition of the milk quotas

Other policies

CAP effect on grasslands and grassland farms

CAP: the way forward

Interview with Jean-François Louineau, Director of Administrative Services, Regional Council, Poitou-Charentes, France


Changes in the structure of the grassland area and grassland-based systems

Changes in production processes

Changes in the structure of animal production

Effect of scientifi c research, public and private farmer’s advisory services

Effect of professional teaching

Sociological driving forces

Economic driving forces

Political driving forces


Annex 1


More contents


Language(s): English

Publisher: Éditions Quae

Edition: 1st edition

Collection: Synthèses

Published: 20 march 2014

Reference eBook [ePub]: 02427EPB

Reference eBook [PDF]: 02427NUM

EAN13 eBook [ePub]: 9782759221585

EAN13 eBook [PDF]: 9782759221578

Interior: Two-colour

Pages count eBook [PDF]: 320

Size: 30.9 MB (ePub), 52.3 MB (PDF)


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