Dairy farmers can order with a discount again!

Zaandam, September 21, 2021: As of today, dairy farmers throughout the country can order seed for herb-rich grassland at a discount thanks to a generous contribution from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The ministry contributes for 1001 hectares! The campaign 1001ha of LTO Nederland and Urgenda in collaboration with seed suppliers Pure Graze and Barenbrug helps farmers to experiment with herb-rich pastures in an accessible way through financial aid and a lot of guidance. Herb-rich grassland is better for the soil, climate and biodiversity and is a great success among farmers. Last year, 1500 hectares have already been sold, saving about 750 tons of fertilizer and 1500 tons of CO2. Thanks to LNV, there is again a budget for 300 extra farmers to participate, whereby LTO Nederland and Urgenda explicitly call on farmers who have not participated before. 

Benefits of herb-rich grassland
Herb-rich herbal leys has many advantages: due to the greater variety of (flowering) herbs, clovers and grasses there is more soil life, there is more to gain for insects and that is good for birds. The country is also becoming more resistant to droughts and downpours. Fertilizers and crop protection products can be omitted and that saves CO2 and nitrogen emissions. A mixture of grasses and herbs is also healthy for cows. It requires a different working method from the farmer, such as mowing and fertilizing differently. That is why extra attention is paid to guidance for the farmer by seed suppliers Pure Graze and Barenbrug.
57% of participating farmers want more
Farmers can order a maximum of 3 hectares, so that as much as possible dairy farmers are given the opportunity to experiment with productive herbal leys. From a survey in wich farmers participated which in the fall of 2020 or the spring of 2021 took part in the campaign, it appears that they really appreciate the help provided. Herb-rich grassland can take off: 57% certainly want to sow more plots and only 6% certainly do not want this. That is a wonderful result of the campaign and offers perspective for policymakers who want to reduce CO2 and nitrogen emissions and biodiversity want to improve.
Better blends, wider choice
For the first 1001 hectares, the choice was made explicitly for a simple mixture for a low price, in order to make the threshold for farmers as low as possible. Now that the campaign is taking off so well, LTO Nederland and Urgenda are opting for more extensive mixtures with a higher percentage of herbs and clovers. With this we also meet the wishes of the farmers: 56% of the farmers indicate that they would like to have more herbs in the mixture. A total of six mixtures are offered by two suppliers, Pure Graze and Barenbrug, so that all dairy farmers can choose a mixture that goes with their businessmodel effectively.
Whole society can help farmers
Much is expected of the farmer these days, but subsidies are often cumbersome and a lot of work. 1001ha helps in a simple way and everyone can help! Thanks to the support of the ASN bank and generous donations from many citizens, the province of Brabant (for 250 hectares), Groningen, Utrecht, North Holland and Gelderland (each 101 hectares), Triodos Foundation, Natuurmonumenten and Patagonia, 500 farmers have already had the opportunity to to experiment with herbs. Municipality of Lochem is the first municipality that contributed for 10 hectares and called on its citizens to donate as well. But farmers are still in the queue. Thanks to LNV, another 300-400 farmers now have the opportunity to participate.


Lots of interest in productive herb-rich grassland – Pure Graze Field Meeting 2020