Enhancing soil health and protein autonomy
After the second year of implementation, we increased the cultivated alfalfa area by 60 ha to 192 ha, resulting in increased autonomy, and a carbon footprint reduction of 25%.
Why does it matter?
Increasing temperatures and decreasing rain events caused by climate change are challenging plant cultivation on farms. Improving soil health is key to bettering soil capability of carbon sequestration, water filtration, nutrient delivery, etc.
How did we solve this?
Alfalfa is a widely used crop for dairy feed, as it provides good fibre and protein intake. Alfalfa is also drought-resistant and has a positive effect on soil structure and fertility.
To determine which variety of alfalfa to use, we analysed the local growing environment on pilot farms. We harvested the crop at different times and processed it differently. We also optimised the fermentation and conservation of silage.
On-farm protein autonomy increased by 32%, while greenhouse gas emissions fell to 25%, after the second year. More importantly, farmers acted as ambassadors, sharing their experience with others.
Opportunities for other farms?
Alfalfa can be widely planted for cultivation on farms with suitable land and satisfactory weather conditions, with support from advisors.
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