Creating added value in organic agriculture by sustainable combinations of plant production with outdoor runs for poultry (LEGCOMBIO)
The aim of this project is to investigate how agricultural land can be utilized more efficiently and sustainably by combining plant production with the free range for poultry. The double and symbiotic use of land is a promising strategy to increase the productivity per unit of land area and to reduce the ecological footprint. Poultry can have a beneficial effect on the plants and the plants on the birds. Moreover, a more homogeneous use of the free range by the birds prevents the accumulation of manure close to the barn which is desirable for reducing point pollution and disease transmission. Apart from an additional and diversified income, the plant production in the free-range of poultry can offer considerable ecosystem services as well.
This project consists of two complementary parts. Part 1 concerns an experimental study to increase the use of the free range by hens. In Part 2, mixed plant/poultry systems will be evaluated, with focus on a case study on a commercial farm in Flanders (specialized in production of berries to which chickens are added as an extra dimension). A desk study will compare and complement these (user) experiences and measurements with relevant information from Belgium and other countries.
Departement Landbouw en Visserij (Vlaamse overheid) en ILVO
- Proefcentrum Pamel, Molenstraat 26, 1760 Roosdaal