Benefits and challenges of herbal or diverse leys

Opportunities for farmer involvement

As part of the DiverIMPACTS project (Diversification through Rotation, Intercropping, Multiple cropping, Promoted with Actors and value-Chains Towards Sustainability), a number of case studies are being conducted, clustering farmers who can share similar farming experiences and learn from each other. One cluster is about herbal or diverse leys as service crops.

A group of farmers already met once as part of the project, and identified a number of benefits of diverse leys on soil. Yet it is clear that some challenges do exist when it comes to the overall management of the farm and its resources.

ORC researchers Stefano Orsini and Abel Villa are involved in this case study and are meeting with the group of farmers in September. Topics that will be addressed go beyond the well-known benefits (e.g. to soil fertility and health) and will cover issues which are at the forefront of day-to-day management, such as opportunities for economic gains, yields, costs involved, effects on livestock management and health.

We now would like to extend the invitation to more farmers to expand the learning of participants and identify new inspirations. Our role as researchers is to monitor the development of the cluster over the next two years, facilitate knowledge exchange within the groups and to find solutions to common issues. Options of collaborations will be explored based on the farmers’ needs. If you are interested please contact Stefano Orsini and Abel Villa

More information on the project can be found at

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