Eco-efficiency of leys in farming systems

Ley-pastures (short-term grasslands) are valuable resource in broad range of farming systems and are primarily associated with producing forage for feeding ruminants in mixed and livestock farms. Mixed-species swards can achieve higher yields, however potential productivity for both grasses and legumes vary over time, and are affected by several factors, including soils characteristics, swards management, and climate variability. Ley-farming, especially legume-based swards, are essential for organic and other innovative farming systems and practices, however, their benefits need to be highlighted with respect to their positive consequences for the environment and for the self-sufficiency of ruminant farms in supplying dry matter and protein to their animals. Different grassland composition and quality also determine suitability and efficiency for different uses. Traditional and novel use of grassland feedstocks are important in future grassland management systems. Nowadays and increasingly in the future, grasses could be exploited as raw materials for varieties of bio-based products and by extension, value chains of short- grasslands as the new possibilities in bioeconomy. Similarly, developing a knowledge-based system on ways to introduce ley-pastures into cropping systems covers many important issues. Hence, this session is designed to discuss about ley-pastures as resource for producing forage or novel usage of biomass and their quality, feasibility for processing (composts, proteins, bio-products etc.) in future management systems term.