Combining forage mixture, legume management and animal feeding management

Description

Catherine Faux and her husband lead a mixed farm (sheep and suckler cows regularly
grazing together).

Currently she practices:

  • Animal feeding management through production of mixed species cover crops to cut and to harvest together (meslin)
  • Breed selection
  • Legume management and forage mixture

Farmer’s strategy is focusing on autonomy, short marketing chain and curiosity in grassland management and techniques.

Regular tests and production of mixed species cover crops to cut and to harvest together (kind of meslin associated with leguminous crops)

Farm description

Environment

  • Soil types: Clayey-loam
  • Temperate oceanic climate
  • Altitude: 170 m
  • Slope: 4-5%

Grassland management

  • Grasslands, mostly permanent, are both grazed and mowed down (4 times a year).
  • The duration of permanent meadows is longer than 20 years.
  • Grazing management type is rotational.
  • Forage is stored as hay and haylage.
  • Length of grazing period: 8.1 months

Structure

  • Annual Work Unit: 1
  • Agricultural Area : 42 ha UAA
  • 8 ha are dedicated to crops and the rest in permanent (17 ha) and temporary (9 ha) grasslands and other green forage area (5.2 ha of meslin to cut and harvest in 2016)
  • The sheep flock is composed of two breeds: Ile de France and Entre Sambre et Meuse (30 lactating ewes and 60 lambs)
  • The beef cattle is Limousin breed: 29 cows and 40 calves.

Why it is working

Vocational training of farmers (Catherine is farmer and her husband is a veterinarian)

Fine management of the soil-plant-animal and climate complex

Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

animal feeding management, animal type (breed), forage mixture, grazing management system, legume management – Annual legumes, legume management – Perennial legumes, marketing

Main types of animal

beef cattle, meat sheep

Country

Belgium

Product type

Farmer portrait

Language

English, French

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