Summers have been dry for the past 2 years. In many areas, this led to lower dry matter yields with dairy farmers and other land-based livestock farms.
Various governments such as provinces and water boards have developed plans in collaboration with LTO to combat the impact of the drought. An example of this is the Delta Plan for Agricultural Water Management https://agrarischwaterbeheer.nl/ .
The underlying cause of this drought is the changing climate. https://www.voordewereldvanmorgen.nl/duurzame-blogs/wat-zijn-de-gevolgen-van-droogte?utm_source=nieuwsbrief&utm_medium=tekstpost&utm_campaign=scientias&utm_content=gevolgendroogte
Due to the size of the problem, climate change is after all a global phenomenon, we quickly feel like a victim. What do you want to do about that as an individual?
That is a pity and a missed opportunity. Farmers can do a lot themselves to combat the drought on their own farm. Let's take a look at what we're dealing with.
In essence, we are dealing with strongly fluctuating precipitation, an uneven distribution over the year. With shorter winters and longer summers, potentially increasing the risk of drought. In the Netherlands, as a delta region, we don't really feel that we are being affected by the drought. However, drought does have consequences in the form of less yield and more costs on the farm.
It is very good to realize that the winter rains replenish the supplies. The summer rains are purely for refreshment. – Ado Bloemendal
It is good to focus on the areas where we can influence and focus our energies on them. For example, the building plan and the grazing management.
Let's take a look at the solutions we can come up with:
On many livestock farms, permanent herbal leys is the largest forage supplier. Often the sod-forming grasses are the largest plant species. There are 2 drawbacks to this species that deserve attention in this context. Drought sensitivity and fertilization requirement.
With sod formers we lay the organic matter, the sponge of the soil, horizontally on top of the soil.
The water storage capacity of sod formers is half that of clump-forming grasses.
Sod formers have a third lower production with low fertilization.
With deep-rooting varieties, we place organic matter vertically in the soil. The sponge of the bottom is less affected by heat. We use a much larger surface area in the soil to store water and nutrients. Clump-forming grasses in combination with nitrogen fixing clovers and herbs, have a much higher production of a much more complete feed with more vitamins, hormonal substances and minerals than a monoculture grass.
Clump-forming grasses have a much higher production potential than perennial ryegrass, when little or no fertilization is applied. This can be found when we take a look at the dry matter production per hectare per year between conventional and organic farms. https://edepot.wur.nl/239910
That is why the choice for a Saladebuffet is a full-fledged step towards a healthy, sustainable, drought-resistant forage production. https://www.puregraze.com/kruidenrijke-mengsels/voordelen-saladebuffetten/
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