27 March 2018
CFE Hedge event at Elm Farm

Make hedge management work for your business & the environment

27 March 2018
GREATsoils field day

Using green manures to optimise nitrogen availability

15 March 2018
Wonderful woodchip!

Workshop report on practical uses of woodchip in organic horticultural systems

12 March 2018
New organic potato guide

Cultivating quality – step by step

15 March 2018
Organic farming for a Green Brexit

Government urged to commit to expanding organic food and farming to ensure a Green Brexit

Agroforestry in dairy systems, a part of Sustainable Organic and Low Input Dairying



Contract period:

1 April 2011 to 1 March 2016

Project webpage:

Main funder:

EU Seventh Framework Programme

Contact staff at ORC:

Dr. Jo Smith

Project aims

This work package within SOLID will aim to promote a nutritionally improved and more reliable supply of forage to meet the needs of lactating animals in organic and low input systems in order to improve competitiveness, animal health and welfare and milk quality. This will be achieved by the provision of novel feeding systems and feeds to provide buffers to grassland and forage feed supplies and through decision support systems which can be used by farmers to manage their forage supplies to meet herd requirements.

ORC's role

A novel feed supply concept implemented in an agroforestry system in the UK will be examined which has the potential to deliver unique multifunctional properties. Three geographically-spread (Suffolk, Berkshire and Gloucestershire, UK) organic sites will be used to examine various aspects of the multifunctionality of the agroforestry approach: a new willow agroforestry system will provide economic and environmental (including microclimate) data on establishing and managing a system; an established willow bioenergy system and organic dairy system will be assessed in respect of its total productivity and livestock carrying capacity of the system (dairy cows); and an established willow agroforestry system will be evaluated in terms of microclimate modification (air and soil temperature, wind speed, humidity, soil moisture, solar radiation and shading), carbon storage (measurement and modelling of carbon dynamics in soil and vegetation) and soil nutrient dynamics (measurement and modelling of soil nutrient dynamics). These three systems will allow an evaluation of the multifunctional potential of an agroforestry approach to dairy production in terms of economic feasibility and ecosystem service delivery.