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DEUTSCH: Mehrfachnutzungen landwirtschaftlicher Flächen sind ein Baustein zur Steigerung der Flächeneffizienz. Gegenüber der Monokultur verbessern sie im Optimalfall Ökosystemleistungen und sind daher ein wichtiges Forschungs- und Anwendungsfeld für eine Adaption nachhaltigkeitsdefizitärer Landnutzungs- und Ernährungssysteme. Der Einsatz von Schafen im Weinbau während der Vegetationsperiode ist ein wissenschaftlich noch weitestgehend unerforschtes Doppelnutzungsmodell. Über standardisierte Interviews wurden 34 Experten befragt, die bereits heute Schafe in Weingärten halten. Die Schafe nutzen in der Sonderkultur nicht nur den Begleitwuchs als Grünfutter, sondern können auch als Ersatz für ansonsten händisch, maschinell oder chemisch durchgeführte weinbauliche Arbeitsschritte eingesetzt werden. Von den Experten wurde u.a. bestätigt, dass der Einsatz von Schafen in bestehende Kulturen je nach Reberziehungssystem mit relativ geringen Anpassungen der Betriebsabläufe möglich ist. Neben der Expertenbefragung wurden auch Verhaltensbeobachtungen an Weinberg-Schafen durchgeführt. Mithilfe der Studienergebnisse konnten Chancen und Risiken des Doppelnutzungssystems identifiziert und verschiedene Umsetzungsformen kategorisiert werden. Abschließend werden wesentliche Ziele einer zukünftigen Erforschung dieser Nutzungsform benannt. ENGLISH: The multiple use of agricultural land is essential to increase land efficiency. Research into these land use systems must be intensified in order to improve their sustainability and create resource-saving agricultural food systems. During the growing season, sheep grazing in vineyards is a still novel and largely unexplored example of such mixed use. In a standardised survey, we interviewed 34 experts who already keep sheep in their vineyards. The sheep can be used not only for inter-row management but also for viticultural work that is otherwise carried out manually, mechanically or chemically. Depending on the training system, it was confirmed that the integration of sheep into existing vineyards is possible with relatively minor adjustments. Furthermore, ethological studies were performed. The results serve to identify the opportunities and risks of using sheep in vineyards and to categorise different forms of implementation. Finally, major objectives for future research demands on this type of land use are outlined.
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... (3) stronger orientation towards nutrient cycles including potentially positive effects on ecosystem services; and (4) image enhancement for the winegrower with new marketing options [10,11]. Whether and to what extent these presumed potentials are activated surely depends on various influencing factors. ...
... The latter encompasses, amongst others, veterinary issues and the lack of predictability regarding pasture management and its correlative effects on the foliage area of the vines. For example, research has yet to determine the height which different sheep breeds can reach when grazing and the minimum or optimal height at which the top of vine stems and leading-or fruit shoots should be located [10,11]. Niles et al. [6] show comparable results in a study conducted in New Zealand. ...
... In contrast, vine training systems with spur pruning, minimal pruning or pergola training tend to give more options in breed selection. These training systems are quite rare in Central Europe and even here certain breeds are more suitable than others [10,11,14]. ...
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Protecting a breed of sheep is simple when there is demand for its breed traits, but new market options are often hard to find. In general, grazing sheep are able to take over some viticultural work. Here, we address a new and promising integrated crop-livestock system that involves the integration of sheep in the vineyard during the growing season. Using sheep in a vineyard entails opportunities but also risks, such as the current lack of information, specifically in relation to breed traits. In our survey, we evaluated 26 breeds for their suitability for grazing as long as possible in Central European vineyards during the growing season. First, the breed traits required were identified. Then, 94 flock book breeders were interviewed about specific breed traits. The height of a sheep’s muzzle is particularly important for assessing the suitability of a breed, as it defines the potential impact on the foliage area during the growing season. To determine the height of the muzzle, 179 flock book animals were measured. We found that the most important breeding objective for a new breed of sheep is the inability to stand on two legs. Adult animals of the breed Shropshire, and among these especially the shorter-legged Danish type, and Southdown, show a widespread inability to stand on two legs. Ouessant sheep are able to do so, yet are suitable with some limitations. Due to their extraordinarily small size, their reach is limited, as is their grazing performance. Thus, three of the 26 breeds studied here seem suitable for use in the most widespread vine training systems of Central Europe during the growing season. Targeted breeding could further improve the suitability of sheep for viticulture. Our findings could help to protect breeds and breed traits.
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The multiple land use of agricultural areas is a building block for increased land use efficiency. Unlike monoculture, integrated crop-livestock systems optimally improve ecosystem services, making it an important field of research and application for adapting land use and food systems that have sustainability deficits. The integration of sheep in viticulture production is described as a promising example of an integrated crop-livestock system. While some studies of the integration of sheep into vineyards are already available for other parts of the world, there is still no research on its implementation in Central European viticulture systems. In order to fill this gap of knowledge, we conducted standardized interviews with 34 winegrowers who already graze sheep in their vineyards. The method allowed a wider overview of the implementation of the integrated crop-livestock system than would have been possible with other approaches. Furthermore, the authors kept sheep in their own vineyard for three years to evaluate the statements of the survey participants. The period during which sheep graze in vineyards is quite heterogeneous in Central Europe. Some farms use sheep only during vine dormancy; others also let sheep graze during a certain period in summer. There are also viticulture training systems where grazing is almost continuously possible. In Central Europe, summer grazing normally requires operational adjustments such as lifting the wires of the training system and branches of the vine; otherwise, the vines could be damaged. This option seems to be tailored to the training system in use. Some interviewees mentioned that sheep not only use the accompanying vegetation as fodder and therefore control the undervine growth, but in some cases, they were also able to replace other work processes, such as defoliating the grape zone or cleaning undesired vine shoots near the ground. However, a high additional workload due to livestock keeping was also mentioned by some survey participants. Some of the interviewees cooperate with shepherds, which could help to solve this challenge. Finally, we summarize possible opportunities and risks of this integrated crop-livestock system. Integrating sheep in vineyards seems to be quite feasible in the period of vine dormancy, whereas more information and considerably more effort is needed to integrate sheep during the vegetation period. Further research is needed to answer open questions especially for the necessary adaptions of the common vine training system or the implementation of alternative systems more suitable to combine with livestock keeping. Some practitioners found opportunities to merchandize the use of sheep in wine sales. This potentially unique selling point could be a solution for a broader consideration of sheep in vineyards.
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DEUTSCH: Der Einsatz von Schafen in Weingärten während der Vegetationsperiode erfährt in der Praxis aktuell eine relativ hohe Aufmerksamkeit. Schafe können teils obligatorische weinbauliche Arbeitsschritte übernehmen und sind eine interessante Option für das Weinmarketing. Der Schafeinsatz birgt auch Risiken und Nachteile, wie etwa den Aufwand, der sich fallweise aus der Tierhaltung und der noch defizitären Informationslage ergeben kann. In den häufigsten Reberziehungssystemen Mitteleuropas bestimmt die Schafrassenwahl entscheidend über potenzielle Risiken und Möglichkeiten. In der vorliegenden Untersuchung wurden Rassen hinsichtlich ihrer Eignung für das Doppelnutzungsmodell evaluiert. Dazu wurden zunächst die weinbaulich gewünschten Rassenmerkmale identifiziert. In der Untersuchung wurden anschließend 94 Herdbuchzüchter nach spezifischen Rassecharakteristika wie der Fähigkeit zum Zweibeinstand befragt. Für die Bewertung der Eignung einer Schafrasse ist die zu erwartende Verbisshöhe entscheidend. Sie definiert die potenzielle Einwirkung auf die Laubwand und determiniert die mögliche Beweidungsdauer im Sommer. Um die Äserhöhe zu bestimmen, wurden 179 Tiere von Herdbuchzüchtern vermessen. Als besonders geeignete Rassen für den Einsatz im Flachbogen-Spaliersystem wurden Shropshire dänischer Zuchtlinie sowie Southdown (nicht zu verwechseln mit „Babydoll“) identifiziert. Mit Abstrichen sind auch Ouessant-Schafe prinzipiell geeignet. Dies sind 3 der 27 hier behandelten Rassen. Andere Rassen können im Sommer allenfalls kurzzeitig in einer mitteleuropäischen Standardrebanlage eingesetzt werden und erzwingen rasche Flächenwechsel. Die Zuchtziele für eine (neue) mittelrahmige (Kreuzungs-)Rasse wären die fehlende Fähigkeit zum Zweibeinstand, ein natürlicher Haarwechsel, Robustheit (auch gegen Kupfer) und eine gute Führigkeit. ENGLISH: Grazing sheep in vineyards is currently receiving relatively high attention. Sheep are able to take over obligatory viticultural work steps and are an interesting option for wine marketing. However, using sheep in a vineyard also entails risks and disadvantages, such as the effort and expense involved in keeping the animals and the lack of information. In German viticulture, a large part of the vines are trained in spalier-systems with Guyot pruning. How long the use of sheep in these systems is possible during the growing season is not least a question of the choice of sheep breed. In the present study, breeds were evaluated with regard to their suitability for grazing in vineyards. To this end, the breed characteristics required for viticulture were identified. These are partially not addressed by the existing breeding guidelines. In the study, 94 pedigree breeders were therefore asked about specific breed characteristics such as cooperation or the ability to stand on two legs. The height of the mouth is particularly important for assessing the suitability of a breed of sheep, as it defines the potential impact on the leaf wall. To determine the height of the mouth, 179 animals were measured by pedigree breeders. Shropshire of the Danish breeding line and Southdown (not to be confused with the smaller “Babydoll”; that still sounds counterintuitive to us and should be approved) seem not be able to stay on two legs and are particularly suitable for use in spalier-systems with Guyot pruning. They can also be used in training systems such as in single wire system with spur pruning or spalier-systems with minimal pruning. With some limitations, Ouessant were also identified as suitable. These are 3 of 27 breeds covered here. Other breeds can only be used for brief periods within the growing season. Breeding objectives for a new medium-sized breed are the inability to stand on two legs, robustness (e.g. against copper-poisoning), cooperation and the coat should change naturally, if the price for wool is too low.
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Der Einsatz von Schafen im Weingarten als natürliche Rasenmäher wird für Winzer immer interessanter. Denn das Kurzhalten der Begrünung verlangt dem Winzer einiges ab und Bedarf einem enormen Einsatz an Maschinen und Spritzmitteln. Hier sehen Forscher aus Deutschland eine Chance, Schafe im Weingarten erfolgreich zu integrieren.
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DEUTSCH: Das sogenannte „Insektensterben“ steht aktuell im Fokus der Ökologie und des Naturschutzes. Die Erklärungen des Insektenrückgangs bleiben aber hinsichtlich der Faktorenansprache unvollständig und es fehlt an praxisnahen Auseinandersetzungen. Weitgehend unbeachtet ist u. a. der Aspekt der Weidewirtschaft und damit assoziierte Einflussgrößen wie (1) die Verteilung von Nutztieren und -arten auf Weiden in Raum und Zeit und (2) die Verwendung von Tierarzneimitteln wie Antiparasitika und ihre negativen, häufig letal toxischen Wirkungen auf dungabhängige und dungbesuchende Arten. Der Dung weidender Tiere als Lebensraum kann von Antiparasitika erheblich beeinträchtigt werden. Die biomassereichen Dunginsektenzönosen sind wiederum für zahlreiche Arten (auch des normativen Naturschutzes) eine entscheidende Nahrungsressource, sodass sich Antiparasitika auch auf deren Populationen negativ auswirken. Nicht nur in Deutschland steigt der Umsatz mit Antiparasitika seit Jahren an. Gleichzeitig bleiben erhebliche Wissenslücken zur tatsächlichen Anwendung in viehhaltenden Betrieben. Der Einfluss von Antiparasitika auf den Insektenbiomasserückgang kann und sollte dennoch auf Basis logischer Schlussfolgerungen stärker in der Diskussion zum „Insektensterben“ abgebildet werden als dies bisher der Fall ist. Dazu darf das definitorische Spektrum von Pestiziden in Naturschutz und Ökologie nicht auf Pflanzenschutzmittel beschränkt bleiben. Notwendig für einen biodiversitätsgerechteren Einsatz veterinärmedizinischer Produkte sind auch vergleichende Studien zu den ökotoxischen Effekten dieser Produkte unter Realbedingungen. Entscheidend ist zudem ein engmaschigeres Monitoring der tatsächlichen Anwendung in Weidetierbetrieben. ENGLISH: The so-called mass insect extinction is a key topic in ecology and conservation. But the discussion about its drivers shows limited causality and lacks coherence with practice. What is widely neglected as a driving force is the role of pastoralism and related aspects such as (1) the presence of livestock in species, in numbers, in space, and in time and the decline of pasture-based(extensive) livestock keeping in Germany, and (2) the application of antiparasitic drugs and its ecological consequences mainly, but not only, for dung-dependent (insect-)communities. Livestock dung and, in particular, faeces from grazing ruminants is a focal resource and starting point for biomass-rich coprophagic insect communities and their predators. The conclusions are that with the widespread application of antiparasitics this resource is declining and can even be a trap for coprophagous insects. The volume of sales of antiparasitics has increased in Germany and globally in recent years, but there is still a lack of knowledge about their use in husbandry. The relevance of dung and the use of antiparasitics must be considered in conservation strategies, especially in the public discourse about biomass decline of insects. The understanding of pesticides only as plant protection products has to be enlarged and modified accordingly in conservation debates. Comparative studies on the use of veterinary drugs under real-life conditions and their effects on insects in different types of husbandry systems are necessary as a science-based benchmark for a more biodiversity-friendly use of antiparasitics. Furthermore, it is crucial to monitor quantities and type of application in livestock systems.
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The integration of crop and livestock systems has been recognized for its potential to reduce the environmental impacts associated with agriculture and improve farmer livelihoods. However, to date, most research has focused on the integration of cattle into crop and pasture systems. Here we examine the integration of sheep into vineyards and assess farmers' perceived benefits and costs of the practice. Viticulture expansion has led to significant land use change in recent years and new environmental challenges, particularly with respect to herbicide use. Sheep integration into vineyards offers the potential to utilize the synergies of both systems to reduce external inputs, promote soil health, and increase farmer profit. Our study focuses in New Zealand, the world's 15 th largest wine producer, particularly in Marlborough, which produces 75% of the country's wine. As a result, the case study is an excellent representation of New Zealand viticulture, while also providing unique insights into a novel practice. Using a semi-structured interview and survey, we interviewed fifteen farmers representing five percent of 2 total New Zealand wine production to examine ecological and economic benefits of sheep integration in viticulture systems. We find that seasonal integration of sheep during vine dormancy is common, while integration during the growing season is rare. Overall, farmers perceive significantly more benefits than challenges with the integration of sheep into vineyards, particularly reduced mowing (100% of farmers) and herbicide use (66% of farmers). On average, farmers reported 1.3 fewer herbicide applications annually, saving US$ $56 per hectare. As well, farmers indicated they were doing 2.2 fewer mows annually saving US$ $64 per hectare. These results suggest that wide-scale adoption of seasonal integration of sheep and viticulture can provide large ecological benefits and higher profitability vis-à-vis conventional viticulture practices; however, further integration of the two systems may provide even greater benefits not currently realized.
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Livestock contribute to food security by supplying essential macro- and micro-nutrients, providing manure and draught power, and generating income. But they also consume food edible by humans and graze on pastures that could be used for crop production. Livestock, especially ruminants, are often seen as poor converters of feed into food products. This paper analyses global livestock feed rations and feed conversion ratios, with specific insight on the diversity in production systems and feed materials. Results estimate that livestock consume 6 billion tonnes of feed (dry matter) annually – including one third of global cereal production – of which 86% is made of materials that are currently not eaten by humans. In addition, soybean cakes, which production can be considered as main driver or land-use, represent 4% of the global livestock feed intake. Producing 1 kg of boneless meat requires an average of 2.8 kg human-edible feed in ruminant systems and 3.2 kg in monogastric systems. While livestock is estimated to use 2.5 billion ha of land, modest improvements in feed use efficiency can reduce further expansion.
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The debate on future global food security is centered on increasing yields. This focus on availability of food is overshadowing access and utilization of food, and the stability of these over time. In addition, pleas for increasing yields across the board overlook the diversity of current positions and contexts in which local agriculture functions. And finally, the actual model of production is based on mainstream agricultural models in industrialized societies, in which ecological diversity and benefits from nature have been ignored or replaced by external inputs. The dependence upon external inputs should exacerbate the negative impacts on the environment and on social equity. Strategies to address future global food security thus require local innovation to increase agricultural production in a sustainable, affordable way in the poorest regions of the world, and to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and its dependence on non-renewable resources. Ecological intensification, the smart use of biodiversity-mediated ecosystem functions to support agricultural production, is portrayed as the most promising avenue to achieve these goals.
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Organic agriculture has a history of being contentious and is considered by some as an inefficient approach to food production. Yet organic foods and beverages are a rapidly growing market segment in the global food industry. Here, we examine the performance of organic farming in light of four key sustainability metrics: productivity, environmental impact, economic viability and social wellbeing. Organic farming systems produce lower yields compared with conventional agriculture. However, they are more profitable and environmentally friendly, and deliver equally or more nutritious foods that contain less (or no) pesticide residues, compared with conventional farming. Moreover, initial evidence indicates that organic agricultural systems deliver greater ecosystem services and social benefits. Although organic agriculture has an untapped role to play when it comes to the establishment of sustainable farming systems, no single approach will safely feed the planet. Rather, a blend of organic and other innovative farming systems is needed. Significant barriers exist to adopting these systems, however, and a diversity of policy instruments will be required to facilitate their development and implementation.
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Animals perform a continuous stream of behavior throughout their lives. Because their behavior is not random, appropriate sampling methods can be used to obtain data that accurately reflect the actual behavior and are valid for answering research questions. Answering questions related to several variables assists in narrowing the choices of sampling methods. First, a determination must be made of what behaviors to measure. If the behaviors are few and easily measured, then All Occurrences Sampling is the method of choice because it generates accurate frequency and duration data through continuous recording. Sequence and Sociometric Matrix Sampling are specialized types of All Occurrences Sampling that are restricted to sampling intra- or interindividual sequences and social interactions (e.g., agonistic), respectively. Second, if who (e.g., specific individual, sex, or genotype) performs the behavior is a major component of the research question, then consideration should be given to Focal Animal (Pair, Group) Sampling. Third, if when or where the behavior is performed is of interest (e.g., activity budget), then Instantaneous or Scan Sampling can often be effective. Ad libitum Sampling does not produce valid data for analyses, but it is useful when formulating and fine-tuning research questions. One-Zero Sampling is not recommended except when the research question relates to the presence or absence of behaviors only. Other factors to consider in selecting a sampling method are duration of the behavior (event or state), desired scale of measurement (nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio), and logistics (e.g., time, and equipment and facilities available).
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Organic agriculture is often perceived as more sustainable than conventional farming. We review the literature on this topic from a global perspective. In terms of environmental and climate change effects, organic farming is less polluting than conventional farming when measured per unit of land but not when measured per unit of output. Organic farming, which currently accounts for only 1% of global agricultural land, is lower yielding on average. Due to higher knowledge requirements, observed yield gaps might further increase if a larger number of farmers would switch to organic practices. Widespread upscaling of organic agriculture would cause additional loss of natural habitats and also entail output price increases, making food less affordable for poor consumers in developing countries. Organic farming is not the paradigm for sustainable agriculture and food security, but smart combinations of organic and conventional methods could contribute toward sustainable productivity increases in global agriculture. Free full text Access at: http://www.annualreviews.org/eprint/jCDqvk9WKphwFJDAASs6/full/10.1146/annurev-resource-100517-023252
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Shrub encroachment is one of the main causes of dry grassland loss in Central Europe. Abandoned semi-natural grasslands are often overgrown by thorny or spiny shrubs. Such unpalatable shrubs have frequently established by selective foraging during periods with low grazing pressure, particularly if sheep herding was performed. Feeding behaviour and diet selection vary between different livestock species and especially browsing goats are increasingly recognized for preventing woody encroachment. However, little is known about the appropriate timing of the grazing regime and the selection of woody species on abandoned dry grasslands already dominated by thorny and spiny shrubs.
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