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Elimination behavior and soil mineral nitrogen load in an organic system with lactating sows – comparing pasture-based systems with and without access to poplar (Populus sp.) trees

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There is an urgent need to introduce innovative strategies in the current free-range pig production to improve the environmental performance. Based on previous experiences, inclusion of a zone with poplar (Populus sp.) trees in individual sow paddocks was hypothesized to improve the system’s nitrogen efficiency. We investigated sow elimination behaviour, faeces localisation as well as soil mineral nitrogen load. Unlike expected sows showed no preference for eliminating in the zone with poplars but clearly avoided defecating nearby the hut, feed, water and wallow. Soil mineral nitrogen load showed a heterogeneous pattern as also found in previous studies. In comparison to grass, our results indicated that the poplars had an increased winter uptake of nitrate from deeper soil layers.
TidsskriftAgroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Sider (fra-til)639-661
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 3 jul. 2019

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