Mixed crop-livestock farming was common in many areas of Europe. Nowadays, crop and livestock production are highly specialised and less connected. The consequences are, among others, high concentrations of animals in few regions, large imports of feed, simplification of crop rotations, high use of mineral fertilizers and pesticides, landscape homogenization and biodiversity loss.
Dairy production systems are an essential backbone of European agriculture, but they are particularly prone to these problems.
Circularity aims at closing the loop of resources. Context-specific (re)-integration of crop and livestock systems offers the possibility to reduce emissions and to use natural resources more efficiently. Linear approaches need to be complemented or replaced by more holistic approaches.
DairyMix is carrying out multi-criteria assessment, and developing decision support, modelling and management tools for sustainable circular mixed farming systems for dairy production.