Vitoria, April 17, 2024. In this 3rd year of the project, the 7th Steering Committee took place in Spain, in the facilities of the Neiker applied research center, in Vitoria (Basque Country). The opportunity for the french, Irish, Romanian, Italian and Spanish partners of the Life Green Sheep project  to have an overview of the project’s news but also to discover Neiker’s trials on sheep feeding (digestibility of new co-products and regenerative grazing). For the occasion and halfway through the project, everyone invited representatives of sector organizations to discuss good deployment practices. 

Exchanges for a common methodology. The first action of the project made it possible to compare environmental and sustainability assessment tools and methods between countries and to identify differences. The latter concern the evaluation of sheep ingestion and therefore the emission of methane and the evaluation of carbon storage.

The first results from the European observatory for the sustainability of sheep farms and innovative farms

1,219 dairy and meat sheep farms, representative of different pedoclimatic contexts (including 826 in France) have already been diagnosed and their results make it possible to constitute an observatory of environmental performances linked to practices. In addition, a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target is set at -5% for these so-called demonstration farms. At the same time, 282 “innovative” farms are monitored more specifically and are implementing carbon plans with an average reduction objective of -12% in greenhouse gas emissions. The main levers concern the management of the herd (reduction of mortality, improvement of prolificacy, etc.), the optimization of feeding with significant work carried out on the autonomy of farms, the management of effluents and the maintenance or even l increase in carbon storage by meadows and hedges. Once these levers have been tested on a technical and economic level, they can be disseminated more widely.

Inspiring visits

For the occasion, the group was able to visit the Neiker experimental farm which is involved in several European projects. Participants were particularly interested in the trials carried out on innovative co-products such as coffee grounds which would improve zootechnical performance while reducing methane emissions. Trials of “regenerative” grazing (which is similar to dynamic rotational grazing) also show very good technical and environmental results.