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Integrated crop-ruminant livestock systems as a strategy to increase nutrient circularity and promote sustainability in the context of climate change


Different degrees of integration between the crops and livestock components of a system may have advantages or disadvantages, so trade-offs among economic (productivity, efficiency), environmental (nutrient cycling, soil health, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions), and social (work arduousness and organization, household networks) indicators will be identified. Gaps in knowledge regarding impacts of the integration need to be addressed to fully understand the mechanisms that reduce GHG emissions and/or increase soil C sequestration and nutrients (i.e. C, N) use efficiency in mixed production systems; and which would be the impact of proposed interventions with a broader and holistic perspective.


These interventions will be specifically designed for each situation and will be evaluated experimentally to quantify their impact, not only through direct and specific effects but also in a broad sense addressing the circularity within the agricultural systems by different modelling tools. Standardized evaluation approaches and procedures across the different partners will allow direct comparison of the relative impact of new management alternatives. Stakeholders’ involvement through the process will certainly help to focus on applicable new practices and facilitate their adoption by farmers.

•Will investigate different management practices at diverse agricultural systems to enhance nutrient circularity, production efficiency and reduce C footprint;

•Identify the potential improvement of C footprint by increasing the inclusion of by-products in ruminants feeding programs;

•Will evaluate the management of carbon circularity and climate change mitigation and adaptation in mixed crop ruminant livestock systems through system approach assessment and Information and Communication Technology.

INTEGRITY also includes agent-based modelling to understand the decision-making process and other emergent properties of mixed crop-livestock production systems.


National Institute of Agricultural Technology, Argentina

Dr Claudia Faverin

Project Partners

Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain

Natural Resources Institute Finland, (Luke), Finland

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, United Kingdom

AgResearch, New Zealand

Bravo Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Peru

National Agricultural Research Institute of Uruguay, INIA, Uruguay

French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, INRAE, France

Queens University Belfast, United Kingdom

Teagasc, Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland

Project Duration

1 March 2022 - 28 February 2025