Alternative ways of producing beef and lamb are being tested on the Rowden experimental platform at North Wyke, Devon. Large 1 Ha plots are either managed as permanent pasture or newly established pastures including deep rooted grasses and broad-leaf plants that are predicted to increase soil carbon. The potential for restricting grazing to small areas of the field at any one time to allow the pasture to recover (cell grazing) is also being tested in combination with the different plant mixes.
Measuring multiple impacts
As well as measuring the effects of the different treatments on the LSRE and Rowden platforms on productivity (crop yield and liveweight gain of livestock), environmental impacts are also being monitored. These include greenhouse gas emissions, soil organic carbon and biodiversity. By intensively studying these multiple outcomes over time, we will be able to inform systems that reconcile trade-offs, increase the efficiency of farming and mitigate negative environmental impacts.