Cattle Farmers Told to Boost Forage Legumes For Sustainability05 June 2013
EU – Cattle farmers across the European Union have been instructed to look into ways of boosting forage legume production by a Copa-Cogeca official.
By protecting soil and water quality, Jean-Pol Verzaux, Dried Fodder Working Party Chairman, has stated that cattle farmers can combat climate change.
“Forage legumes like alfafa contribute greatly to the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and EU environment policy in combating climate change, enhancing biodiversity and protecting water and soil,” said Mr Verzaux.
He added that while changes in cropping are meeting global dietary trends, keeping up with forage production is difficult because of undependable weather.
“Demand for vegetable proteins is also increasing worldwide. But farmers face many challenges when growing forage legumes, in particular due to its variable yields and therefore variable production.
“There are therefore major benefits to be had from boosting the EU’s own supply of protein crops including forage legumes in order to increase stability on commodity markets.”
Mr Verzaux concluded that the importance of this crop justifies growing on Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs), to be brought in under the new CAP, adding that expansion of this forage type will depend on plant genetics in order to improve farming’s carbon economy.
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