Design options for economically sustainable biodiversity-enhancing milk production systems in the model organic regions of Freiburg and Ravensburg

The importance of species-rich grassland for the biodiversity of flora and fauna in Germany has been described many times. At the same time, the conservation of existing grassland throughout Germany is threatened. The decline in dairy cows – as “utilizers” of grassland growth – is a major cause of the decline in grassland. The increase in the performance of dairy cows over the last few decades has also led to higher demands being placed on feed quality and intensified use. Due to the high proportion of FFH mowing meadows in Baden-Württemberg and threats to them, there is not only a great need for action here, but also an important lever to make a significant contribution to the protection and long-term conservation of species-rich grassland. Against this background, the project focuses on two model regions in Baden-Württemberg which are exemplary for the threat to species-rich grassland due to abandonment of use (Freiburg organic model region) and intensive use (Ravensburg organic model region) by dairy farms. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to a substantial improvement in the biodiversity of the areas cultivated by dairy farms in the two model regions, in particular in terms of more species-rich grassland and the preservation of species-rich grassland. The project is coordinated by Oeko-Institut and carried out in the core team together with the research partner IfLS and practice partner grünweg. An advirsory board will be set up for the project, whose members are mainly regional actors from various institutions with nature conservation and agricultural expertise.