Production, Usage, Technique

Introduction

This section covers all topics related to grassland farming: the different steps involved in forage production (from planting to distribution, including among others, mowing and handling), methods, mechanisms and agricultural machinery used during these stages, but also the social, economic, environmental, medical and other dimensions directly or indirectly involved in this production chain.

Different Types of Grasslands

The statistical categories corresponding to grasslands and forage crops in France, on which are based the statistics, were defined in 1946 and used to categorise different classes are:

  1. Forage Roots and Tubers: essentially beetroot and collard greens.
  2. Artificial Grasslands: grasslands composed exclusively of forage legumes, mostly lucerne, red clover and sainfoin. This type of culture experienced a significant development in Europe since mid 18th century, in particular in the areas of cereal crops where they entered into rotations and contributed to the soil fertility.
  3. Annual Forage: crops for the production of forage seeded less than twelve month ago. Main plant species represented by this type of culture in Europe are Italian ryegrass, corn silage and sorghum silage.
  4. Temporary Grasslands: made up of grasses or grasses/legumes mixing. These grasslands exist between twelve months and six years.
  5. Permanent Grasslands: Existing for more than six years, these grasslands are classified as “permanent grassland” or ” surface toujours en herbe ” (STH) (constantly cultivated areas). Those are temporary grasslands used more than six years or natural meadows. In this case, we distinguish two categories:
    1. “Productive” constantly cultivated areas, which are part of the Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA)
    2. “Low productive” constantly cultivated areas, which include summer and mountain pastures.

A distinction between these two surfaces is calculated according to the production level, arbitrarily established to 1500 FU (Forage Units)/ha/year.

[Texte d’introduction pour

  • Forage Roots and Tubbers
  • Annual Forages
  • Temporary Grasslands
  • Permanent Grasslands
  • Monospecific Grasslands
  • Mixed Grasslands
  • Multispecies Grasslands]
Detailed information on evolution of surfaces of these different types of grasslands

Different Stages of Forage Production

[Texte d’introduction pour

  • Seedlings
  • Culture – Diseases and Treatments
  • Culture – Fertilisation
  • Harvest – Mowing
  • Harvest – Haymaking
  • Harvest – Swathing
  • Harvest – Pressing
  • Harvest – Silage
  • Feeding Animals]

See also

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