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Task 4.4 Development of new innovative decision support systems, grassland databases and actively sharing grassland data across member states (M13-M36)
Task-lead: IDELE in collaboration with GLZ, Teagasc, WLR, RHEA, APCA, INRA, AWE, SLU, CNR, PULS, WIR & SV

In many countries grassland dry matter (DM) -production whether for grazing or for silage production is measured routinely by some grassland farmers across enterprises (dairy, beef and sheep). The creation of grassland measurement databases is a new and unique breakthrough in grassland farming. Databases like for example PastureBaseIreland and associated with document Ref. Ares(2016)5554549 - 26/09/2016 Akkerweb in the Netherlands have limited availability across Europe. While only a limited number of grassland farms measures grass routinely at the present time, this may increase substantially over the coming years. Within WP2, a number of case study farms will be interviewed and documented for grassland performance. The opportunity may allow the project to go further in depth to a number of these case study farms and document the grassland output from such farms. This will allow the project to establish for the first time DM production across a range of farms in EU member states. Innovative farmers and farms deliver new information to the project, documenting the impact of innovative practices and innovative systems. While this might only be a small number of farms at the start, this will increase on the basis of the IMS system. A planned website development to illustrate weekly grass production across the participating countries could be established if there is sufficient buy in from partnering countries. The use of Twitter and other Social Media (Facebook) can be easily used as an effective mechanism to readily support other farmers with the data that have been generated from the case study farms. Case study farms will thus actively stimulate the use of new grassland information on other farms. Outputs from cognitive mapping will be used to further improve the decision support system, taking into account the combinations of practices. The updated decision support systems, based upon cognitive mapping, will especially consider the objective to overcome the risk aversion existing prior to the adoption of innovative practices and systems.

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