Westerwold ryegrass in an intensive forage production for cows

Practice abstract


Jakub Gorączka is a young farmer from Gulcz, a village located along the Noteć river. He graduated from Poznań University of Life Science. He has very wide knowledge and experience regarding dairy production and grassland management. He is also very open person who often shares his knowledge with other farmers. He has overtaken the dairy farm from his father Arkadiusz, who is still active and work together with his son. Family is focused on intensive dairy production from 75 Holstein-Frisian dairy cows with 9000 l/year average yield. The farm size is 70 ha and the whole area is devoted to the production of feed for animals. Most of the land is permanent meadows located along the Noteć river. Unfortunately, some of them are located on the other bank of the river, so they cannot be managed in an intensive way. Hence meadows located on the same bank as the farm must provide most of the required forage. To achieve this goal, the farmers decided to use Westerwold ryegrass together with dedicated mix of grasses and grassland renewal of the meadows every 5 years. Ryegrass and mix of other grasses are sown in the spring of the first year after ploughing, so already in the first year the farmers can obtain a high production of high-quality grass. This innovation has appeared to be very effective, so Jakub has decided to use this grass after harvesting barley. The farmers complain that very good quality sward located along Noteć are not fully utilised for animal production. From the whole village only two farms are still having cattle. The other issue missing is regulation of the river, so its level could support agriculture in an optimum way. It could be done by installing dams which would regulate water level in the river and in the result desired water level in ground.

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Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

forage mixture

Main types of animal

dairy cattle



Product type

Practice abstract



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