Multi4More, Designing Multispecies Swards for Agronomic, Livestock and Environmental Performance

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Eco-Friendly Livestock Farming

Maximise Yields with Multispecies Mixtures

Multi4More aims to promote eco-friendly livestock farming in Ireland by optimising forage production, reducing nitrogen inputs, improving soil health, and increasing overall yields through the use of multispecies mixtures and resource development

Addressing the Environmental Impact of Livestock Farming

The Challenge of High Nitrogen Use

Intensive grassland-based livestock production in Ireland has relied heavily on high-yielding monocultures of perennial ryegrass, requiring large inputs of nitrogen fertilisers. However, excessive use of nitrogen fertilisers can result in nitrate leaching and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, particularly nitrous oxide. This can have negative effects on the environment and is unsustainable in the long term. Multi4More aims to address this issue by exploring the use of low nitrogen input multispecies mixtures to enhance agronomic performance, reduce environmental impact, and maintain high yields and quality for livestock farming.

Project Aims

Enhance Understanding of Plant Diversity and Fertiliser Effects on Multi-Species Mixtures

Multi4More aims to address the problem of the lack of understanding of the effects of plant diversity and fertiliser on multispecies mixtures. In order to achieve this, Multi4More is investigating and synthesising the current understanding of these topics.

Investigation of plant diversity

Multi4More aims to gain deeper insight into the impact of plant diversity on the productivity and sustainability of multispecies mixtures.

Understanding of fertiliser effects

Multi4More is synthesising the existing knowledge to study the impact of various types and quantities of fertiliser on the health and productivity of multispecies mixtures.

Comparison of monoculture and multispecies systems

Multi4More compares the advantages and disadvantages of monoculture and multispecies systems to guide future management decisions.

Optimisation of multispecies mixtures

Multi4More seeks to optimise multispecies mixtures by examining and synthesising the most effective plant-fertiliser combinations and management practices for sustainable long-term use.

Project Key Questions

Seeking Answers on the Effectiveness of Multispecies Mixtures

Multi4More addresses two pivotal questions related to plant diversity and fertiliser’s impact on multispecies mixtures, investigating the best plant combinations and nitrogen fertiliser application rates for optimal yields and quality in forage and livestock production. The project aims to optimise the use of multispecies mixtures through the synthesis of current knowledge.

Project Research: Uncovering Insights on Multispecies Mixtures

The project is conducting research on multispecies mixtures in forage and livestock production, using LegacyNet data from a 38-site experiment. The research includes investigating the effects of plant diversity on animal performance and environmental impact, and developing targeted knowledge transfer resources.
Multi-site Experiment
Multi4More optimizes multispecies mixtures for forage production, nitrogen replacement, soil health and more through a multi-site experiment.
Ovine Grazing Experiment
Multi4More investigates plant diversity effects on animal performance and environmental impact through a highly innovative ovine grazing experiment.
Legacy Effect Experiment
Multi4More uses LegacyNet data from a 38-site experiment to investigate the impact of plant diversity on yield and legacy effects.
Knowledge Transfer
Multi4More aims to transfer knowledge on multispecies mixtures to stakeholders through engagement, demonstration & targeted resources.

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