Ag Tech and Research News

Research into salt-tolerant forage solutions

05 April 2023, Netherlands: Rising salt concentrations due to climate change threaten fresh water access in coastal areas. A field trial on a Dutch island aims to determine which forage crops can withstand salinisation and desiccation, ensuring supply security for livestock in the face of droughts.

Climate change challenges access to fresh water in coastal areas. For many years, we have tested varieties’ capacity to resist increasing salt concentrations, and this research has shown a clear difference between species and varieties’ salt tolerance. To illustrate how this knowledge can be applied in practice, on Terschelling, a small island in the northern Netherlands, in August 2021, a field trial began on a farm to determine the robustness of new grass species and grass/herb mixtures. The island must address fresh water shortages due to salinisation and climate change, including droughts. These challenges threaten forage supply security for the island’s livestock and the purpose of the study is therefore to gain insight into which forage crops can most effectively withstand salinisation and desiccation.

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