Organisations Involved: Newcastle University, ADAS, University of Aberdeen, Mendel University in Brno, Centre for Ecological Research, Univerzitet Crne Gore, SLU, University of Turin, Wageningen University and Research, ETH Zürich, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, University of Göttingen, AFBI, Consulai, Universidad de Córdoba, Univerza v Ljubljani, CHambre D’Agriculture Normandie, AgriSearch, Chambre Régionale D’Agriculture Grand Est and La Blanche Maison.

Aim: To co-develop sustainable permanent grassland systems and policies with farmers and policy makers

Project Duration: The project will last five years to allow time for the establishment of farm networks for data gathering and analysis; and the development of good grassland practices, innovative techniques and farm-level and policy support tools. 

Background: SUPER-G is a Europe-wide research project that aims to co-develop sustainable permanent grassland systems and policies with farmers, citizens, and policymakers; ensuring business viability, while supporting biodiversity and delivering several other Ecosystem Services. 

The SUPER-G consortium is made up of 20 project partners and will involve 20+ farm networks and 17+ experimental platforms and field experiments across 5 biogeographical regions in Europe. The project will benchmark & synthesise data on permanent grassland performance by means of evidence reviews, field experimentation, expert elicitation and modelling. 

We want to set up a new network of upland farmers so we can gather the participants views and information. The participants will be required to take part in workshops which will identify the local issues faced by farmers when managing permanent grassland. A further workshop will allow us to identify tools that could be developed to help with the management of permanent grassland. At the beginning and end of the project the participant will complete a survey which will help us understand the management practices, business profitability and capture farmer views on the delivery of ecosystem services. Two of the selected farmers will complete further on-farm testing and evaluation of the decision support tools. These two farmers will be required to host a farm walk/demonstration day. 

Objectives:

The existence and management of permanent grasslands (PG) is key to the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (ES) across Europe. However, PG maintenance and functions are under threat from sub-optimal management of inputs, cultivation in higher output farming systems and abandonment in remote and marginal areas.

The overall objective of the SUPER-G project is to co-develop sustainable PG systems and policies with farmers and policy makers that will be effective in optimising productivity, whilst supporting biodiversity and delivering a number of other ES.

SUPER-G will apply a multi-actor approach, working with farmers; land owners/managers and their advisers; third sector and civil society groups; non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and researchers, policy and business communities to achieve:

1) better understanding of the importance and functioning of PG;

2) benchmarking of PG performance across Europe;

3) co-development of integrated approaches for profitable and sustainable PG management;

4) co-development of tools and policy mechanisms, which are inclusive of stakeholder and citizen priorities, to support the maintenance and sustainable management of PG.

 Project Outputs and Impacts:

  •  Better understanding of the importance and functioning of permanent grasslands 
  • Increased availability and uptake of grassland management options & technologies 
  • Improved competitiveness of farming systems based on or including permanent grassland 

Development of agricultural and environmental policies that support optimal management of permanent grassland 

 

For more information, see the Super-G website: https://www.super-g.eu/