CS04: Self-sufficiency - novel rotation

The case study will be based upon experiments carried out at the Dairy Research Centre in SW Scotland. This is a fully functioning commercial research farm that compares two contrasting systems, one using feeds grown and supplied within the boundaries of the farm the other uses feedstocks that are provided as by-products from the agri-food industries. These contrasting systems are used to support separate herds of dairy cattle.


The basis of the home grown system is that all feed, except minerals and vitamins, are grown on the farm. If insufficient amount of an individual feed was grow then the same feed was purchased and the land allocation extended using the crop yield achieved on the farm. The only feeds which have been purchased are field beans. The system was designed to achieve milk sales of about 7,000 litres/cow /year.


The basis of by-products system is that the cows are fed on by-products (or co-products) which are not normally used in human diets. There is therefore no direct requirement for land although all the feeds can be traced back to the land they were originally grown on.

More information:

Type of legumes: Clover, Faba bean, Forages

Type of farming system: Mixed, conventional


Case Study Leader: Scotland's Rural College, UK

Contact person: Maggie March