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Evaluation of the ÖPUL measure "silage-free feeding" in terms of biodiversity

What is at issue?

Grassland farms use different management systems for fodder production, e.g. hay preparation, silage preparation, harvesting of green fodder, grazing and the combinations of these farming methods. The project used 18 test farms to investigate how these different farming practices affect grassland habitats and their inhabitants, e.g. insects.

What is the benefit?

An analysis of different fodder production systems in grassland with regard to their effect on biodiversity enables decision-makers to develop targeted subsidy measures or to optimize existing subsidy measures.

Pictures from the project

 

What do we do?

At 18 typical grassland farms from Salzburg, Tyrol and Styria, the different management systems were recorded in detail in discussions with the farm managers and analyzed, in particular, with regard to frequency of use and cutting time. In addition, the diversity of vegetation height and structure as well as the individual density and biomass of grasshoppers, bugs and cicadas were recorded in order to evaluate the effect of management on biodiversity.

« We are a hay-milk farm because hay smells better and it is easier to feed. The milk yield is lower, but we receive ÖPUL subsidies and the milk price is also higher than on non-hay farms.»

Maria S., dairy farmer from Styria

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