GAIA actions 2013
GAIA Action Plan seminars in Lechaina, Plati, Xanthi and Zarko
In 2013, as part of the GAIA Action Plan, we organised five seminars for farmers and animal farmers. In the fall of the same year, during the conference of the Hellenic Society of Animal Production in Florina, some very encouraging results were announced: these pertained to the research by the Agricultural University of Athens on the coculture of vench-barley and the introduction of chloromass in cow feed rations.
In round-table seminars that took place in Zarko Trikalon on 17/10/13 and Plati Imathias on 18/10/13, the results of the research were presented, which started a discussion and exchange of experiences among the producers. Participating experts evaluated all available information and suggested appropriate improvements. There were many productive meetings with farmers who had cultivated and used chloromass as animal feed and were able to provide valuable feedback. The main goal was to detect errors, provide better alternatives and expand the use of leguminous forage crops in cow feed rations.
An ever-increasing number of producers believe that they can get better results by utilising the unique properties of Greek soil–a fact that was proven by the high participation, great interest and healthy discussions during the seminars.
On 5/4/2013, 18/4/2013 and 19/4/2013, we organised educational seminars in Lechaina Ilias, Plati Imathias and Xanthi, featuring the same content. Participants included farmers and animal farmers, along with agriculturalists and veterinarians active in primary production.
2012-2013 The collaboration between DELTA and the Agricultural University of Athens commences.
Our collaboration with the Agricultural University of Athens is part of the GAIA Action Plan. We started off with the cultivation of 60 acres of the University’s property in Aliartos. In this instance, we practised mixed sowing of vetch and barley, in three different ratios, to produce chloromass for feed for milk-producing cows.
The Laboratory of Nutritional Physiology & Feeding of the Agricultural University of Athens was responsible for the analysis of the produced chloromas. This analysis took place at regular intervals in order to ascertain its nutritional value and the optimal ratio of the coculture. The main goal of this action was to determine the ideal combination of vetch and barley coculture, the best way to manage chloromass post-harvest and to introduce it into cow feed rations in a manner that would help to produce a similar or larger volume of milk by comparison to conventional rations.
All of the above are determining factors in acknowledging the value–and expanding the use–of Greek traditional plants as feed for milk-producing livestock. Similar actions aim to limit the dependency of farming on imported animal feed and to take advantage of land that’s not being used over the winter months.
In the second part of this experiment, we fed the vetch-barley combination to cows of a collaborating farm, under the watchful eye of the Agricultural University of Athens. The farmers involved in this experiment devoted their animals, time and experience, and collaborated closely with the University’s professors and the GAIA Action Plan team.
The study was very useful in determining the advantages of vetch/barley-based nutrition when compared to conventional, soya-based feed rations, in terms of both milk production and nutritional costs.