Inspirational ideas: A passion for permanent pasture
David Crespo, a farmer from Portugal, believes that permanent pasture is an “outstanding resource” which can significantly improve animal production. But the usual grasses grown require high nitrogen inputs and lack protein for the animals. He has developed a system of integrating legumes in the pasture which means he has not used nitrogen fertiliser on his grasslands for 25 years.
David’s passion for grasslands started when he joined the Plant Improvement Station (INIA) in Elvas, Portugal. In those days there were no sown pastures in the Portuguese farming systems,. He believed that this system could be reversed since the soil and climate conditions in Portugal were generally more adapted to pastures than to cereals. This was the start of his research career on pasture and forage crops. Nowadays he is still just as passionate and enthusiastic about permanent pasture and is a member of the EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Permanent Grasslands.