19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

19th EGF Symposium 2017

“Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios” Alghero, Sardinia (Italy) 7-10 May 2017

Welcome





The Institute for Animal Production System in Mediterranean Environment (ISPAAM) – Department of Biology, Agriculture and Food Sciences (DiSBA), of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) is glad to invite you at the 19th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation that will take place on 8th – 10th May 2017 in Alghero (Italy) in the North-West part of Sardinia Island.

Why in Sardinia?


Approximately 50% of the Sardinia island's surface is covered with permanent and temporary pastures and grasslands represent 85% of the Utilized Agricultural Area. Moreover, natural and semi-natural grasslands whether herbaceous, shrubby or wooded in many Sardinian areas are of remarkable environmental interest. Sardinia is considered a hotspot for plant diversity in the Mediterranean region and its flora includes 2400 taxa, of which 11% are endemics and 5% are exclusive of the island. Grasslands are the main fodder source for almost all the extensive Sardinian livestock farming systems. Sardinia is the main national producer of sheep milk, suckling lamb meat and goat milk, holding 65, 17 and 46% of the national market share, respectively. Sheep milk is almost totally processed into cheese, mainly in dairies owned by a number of private bodies or cooperatives. The PDO Pecorino Romano cheese represents a relevant resource for the Sardinian economy and it is mostly sold in consolidated international commercial channels, 60% of its production reaching overseas markets.

Background and objectives of the Symposium

Extensive grassland-based farming systems play a pivotal role in less favoured areas, because they often support the local economic growth based on typical food products (e.g. cheese, meat). These systems are generally threatened by increased costs, insufficient protein feedstuff, decreased livestock prices and climate change. Extensive farming systems integrating grasslands and other forage resources offer a really good perspective for satisfying the general expectations on agriculture for an increased food and feed quality and for reducing impacts on the environment. This integration entails the development of more complex farming systems: in fact, the management of forage combined resources implies the organization in time and in space of both crops and animals. There is great scope to develop flexible farming systems in which crops (cereals, annual forage crops) and legume-based pastures are balanced in order to lower production costs, maintain adequate output levels and decrease environmental impacts. Nonetheless, there are high research needs on the complex interactions between livestock, grasslands and environment. Scientific advances on how to improve sustainability of extensive grassland-based farming systems will be presented and discussed during the Symposium.