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WP5 Dissemination

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Anne de Boer

Stakeholder focused outreach activities

An effective dissemination strategy; providing suitable messages in appropriate formats, is essential for optimum and rapid uptake of SusCatt deliverables and innovations by European industries, other stakeholder groups and delivering information to policy makers and consumers. If, as hoped, we improve efficiency in beef or dairy production systems, these will only increase the sustainability of European cattle in practice if widely adopted, possibly supported by educated consumers creating a demand for more sustainable dairy and beef products.

As academics we are used to communicating with the scientific community via publications in peer reviewed journals or presentations at conferences. However, these lack the opportunity for in-depth discussions with fellow researchers or between researchers and other stakeholders, including consumers. The main objective for WP5 is to broaden communication of relevant finding from SusCatt, beyond academia to reach farmers, others involved in the livestock industry, policy makers, diet related health professionals and consumers
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SusCatt virtual handbook

5.841 MB pdf

Technical Notes

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Technical notes

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Meat quality analysis. Photo: Karin Wallin

Eating quality of meat from dairy and beef × dairy bulls in forage-based production

A high proportion of Swedish beef comes from our dairy herds. Although most cows are bred with dairy semen to supply replacement heifers, crossing some cows with beef breeds increases the value of calves and subsequent carcasses but could have impact on beef eating quality. This SusCatt study investigated the effect on meat eating quality of crossbreeding dairy cows with beef sires, for cattle fed different proportions of forage.

0.348 MB pdf

Cows on experimental pasture at Biebrza farm in Poland. Photo: J Barszczewski

Improving milk output from permanent grassland

Pasture establishment and growth were successful in the 1st year, leading to higher milk output. However, atypical drought conditions causing poor herbage growth and quality confounded results in year 2 with cow grazing unimproved pasture giving more milk. Further monitoring is needed for a true picture of the longer-term potential of this technique

0.44 MB pdf

Sirloin steak (Photo: Gillian Butler)

Nutritional quality of pasture-fed beef

These results from SusCatt add to the evidence on the superior nutritional quality of meat from extensive farming, highlighting the benefits of forage only feeding

0.532 MB pdf

Does forage matter? Photo: Håvard Steinshamn

Does it matter how much forage our dairy cows eat?

Farms in Central Norway, feeding more forage and pasture to their dairy cows, achieved lower milk yield per cow but higher profitability than farms feeding more concentrate feeds. Farms with high concentrate level did not differ from more extensive system in global warming potential

0.597 MB pdf

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Photo: Elisabet Nadeau

Performance and carcass traits of dairy and beef × dairy bulls in forage-based beef production

Using Angus semen on dairy cows gives bull calves with a potential for higher weight gains, carcass weights and better carcass characteristics regardless of feed intensity and the proportion of forage in the diet

1.042 MB pdf

Profitability of dairy and beef × dairy bulls in forage-based beef production

Using beef rather than dairy semen for dairy cows is a good choice for profitability with facilities for indoor, forage-based systems

0.575 MB pdf

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Forage based diet improves the fatty acid composition in milk and meat

Better nutritional quality in grass-fed milk and meat

These results from SusCatt add to the evidence on the superior nutritional quality of products from extensive farming, highlighting the potential benefits from forage only feeding. In addition, they show the scope for certified pasture-fed beef to lessen consumer deficiencies in long chain omega-3 fatty acids consumption.

0.366 MB pdf

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Dairy cow wearing a RumiWatch halter. Photo: Gillian Butler

Selecting for Efficiency in Pasture-Based Dairying

Pasture-based dairying relies on effective conversion of grazed herbage into milk while cows maintain body condition, health and fertility. The present study showed certain individual cows on pasture-based farms are consistently more efficient than average through lactation and could be selected for breeding replacements to maintain and improve grazing conversion efficiency within the system.

0.334 MB pdf

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Jersey cow with SF6 equipment grazing on diverse pasture. Photo: Carsten Malisch

Forages to reduce the environmental impact of grazing dairy cows

Comparison of performance and methane emissions of grazing dairy cows on two forage mixtures with contrasting sward diversity

0.749 MB pdf

Organic beef sirloin. Photo: Peelham Farm

Building the market for Grass-fed

There is no denying beef farming is a hot-topic with overwhelming negative associations for many consumers. However, not all beef is the same and growing evidence supports the many benefits grass-fed offers – not least for animal welfare, positive for environment and consumers’ health – not to mention economic sense for farmers. The more we sell, the greater the cumulative benefit from these positive impacts

0.607 MB pdf

Friesian cows reared at an Italian SusCatt farm. Photo: Giorgia Riuzzi

Sustainability factors of Italian dairy system

If we are to improve the production efficiency and environmental sustainability of Italian animal farming, with full regard to animal health and welfare, we need to identify what strategies and changes are appropriate - system analysis is crucial, especially for the dairy sector

0.237 MB pdf

What do our cows eat? – Using technology to authenticate forage- based milk

To this day, details of feeding regime are not mandatory declarations for dairy products sold in EU. However, they are very distinctive in terms of geographic area and the production process; both of which influence product quality. Indeed, consumers should be able to identify production chains, especially if seeking sustainable, animal-friendly diets

0.619 MB pdf

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Maize silage for beef cattle: good or bad? Photo: Giorgia Riuzzi

Sustainability factors of the Italian beef rearing system

We investigated if greater use of home-grown forages and by-product feeds for intensive beef can maintain good production and economic performances, ensure animal health and welfare as well as reduce the farms’ environmental impact

0.22 MB pdf

Maize silage for beef cattle: good or bad? Health traits of dualpurpose crossbreeds and pure beef cattle

Most meat produced in Italy comes from specialised intensive fattening farms in the Po’ Valley, importing young beef bulls and heifers from other EU countries. Cattle are fed high proportion of concentrates and diet are dominated by maize as silage, grain, mash and in other forms. Here we discuss the impact such diets have on the animal health of two beef breeds

0.526 MB pdf

Cross bred steers had heavier carcasses with more muscles than pure dairy steers. Photo: Vanja Sandgren

Cross- and purebred steers on pasture

Performance and carcass traits of beef-cross and pure bred dairy steers on forage and semi-natural pastures

0.883 MB pdf

Eating quality of meat from steers

Eating quality of meat from beef-cross and pure bred dairy steers reared on forage and semi-natural pastures

0.644 MB pdf

Profitability of steers on forage based diet

Profitability of dairy and dairy × beef breed steers in beef production based on forage and semi-natural pastures

0.468 MB pdf

Are cross bred dairy cows better suited in grazing based dairying. Photo: Acorn Dairy

Which cows suit UK low-input or organic dairying?

UK interest in grazing based dairying has risen over the last 20 years, yet there is little guidance on breeding priorities, with individual farms customizing crossbreeding to suit their system. Here we describe lessons learned from 17 such farms

0.344 MB pdf

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Grassland renovation with direct-drilling is a feasible alternative. Photo: J. Barszczewski

Improving permanent pastures

Permanent pastures support valuable animal production although this depends on how they are managed, and hence, what plants are present. Poor conditions are often caused by neglect, although they can arise from overgrazing or damage from grazing animals or machinery in wet conditions. The pastures can be renovated using specialist machinery to introduce more productive grasses. Crossunder-sowing using a direct drill fitted with a tine cultivator proved successful without the need for controversial pesticide application. Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding

0.273 MB pdf

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Grazing and methane. Photo: Screeenshot Norddeutscher Rundfunk

SusCatt Norsk faktaark

1.241 MB pdf

SusCatt English fact sheet

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SusCatt presentation

Initial ERA-Net SusAn Projects Seminar. Bilbao, Spain, 23-24 Nov 2017

8.557 MB oxps

SusCatt poster

ERA NET SusAn mid term seminar

0.74 MB pdf

Gillian Butler




Håvard Steinshamn (NIBIO)
Tomasz Sakowski (IGAB)
Elisabet Nadeau (SLU)
Anna Woodhouse (RISE)
Carsten Malisch (CAU)
Flaviana Gottardo (UP)


Economy of forage-based cattle beef and milk production

The financial performance was assessed for some farm interventions considered in SusCatt to get an indication of the potential economic impact of a transition to greater reliance on forage feeding

1.093 MB pdf

SusCatt Synthesis Report

SusCatt considered a wide range of innovations or system comparisons in the 6 countries, all aimed to improve sustainability within European cattle farming. On the whole, these involved reducing production intensity, making greater use of home-grown grass and other forage crops on farms – generally with promising results for beef and dairy production when we considered their potential impact across the 3 pillars of sustainability

0.912 MB pdf

Does it matter for the environment how much forage our dairy cows eat?

Two hundred dairy farms in Central Norway were categorised into three nearly equal sized groups; ‘Low’, ‘Medium’ and ‘High’, according to the annual allowance of concentrate feeds by the dairy cows to test effect of concentrate allowance on indicators of environmental impact and financial performance

1.041 MB pdf

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