The successful crowdfunding campaign '1001 hectares of herbal leys' will start again on Friday 20 August in a renewed version. This campaign by 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. Herbal leys is better for the soil, climate and biodiversity: due to the greater variety of (flowering) herbs and grasses, more soil life is created, and more insects can live, which is good for birds.
The campaign is a great success among farmers.
1,265 hectares were sold, saving about 600 tons of fertilizer and 1,200 tons of CO2. There is again a budget to continue up to 1,465 hectares, with LTO Nederland and Urgenda expressly calling on farmers who have not previously participated.
Urgenda, LTO and Pure Graze started a crowdfunding campaign in the autumn of 2020 for 1001 hectares of herb-rich grassland. Dairy farmers could purchase a 'Saladebuffet*' with a 150 euro discount (this is a 50% discount for conventional dairy farmers, and a 33% discount for organic farmers), and receive extensive guidance. Herb-rich grassland is better for the soil, climate and biodiversity: because of the greater variety of (flowering) herbs and grasses. This creates more soil life, and more insects can live, which is good for birds.
Fertilizers and crop protection products can be omitted, which saves CO2 emissions. A mixture of grasses and herbs is also healthy for cows.
The campaign is successful among farmers and with the help of four provinces, support from ASN bank and some larger donations from companies (Natuurmonumenten, Patagonia and Triodos Foundation), 1,265 hectares of herbal mixture has now been sold and sown by 500 farmers. 500 farmers are currently gaining experience with herb-rich grassland in an accessible manner. This means that 2500 football fields of pasture have been sown with a mixture of 13-18 different types of grasses, clovers and herbs and about 1200 tons of CO2 have been saved because less fertilizer was used.
Each hectare of highly productive herb-rich grassland has the potential to yield:
• 500 kilos less fertilizer (does not apply to organic farmers)
• 1000 kilos less CO2 emissions (does not apply to organic farmers)
• More food for insects and birds
• Fewer pesticides (does not apply to organic farmers)
• Better water storage due to the deeper and different roots
• Equal yield with more biodiversity
• A guidance program for farmers with webinars or workshops
• Social appreciation