6 December 2022

Sustainable forages for net-zero in livestock production

Organised by:

SCI's Agrisciences and Energy groups, BSAS (British Society of Animal Science) and CIEL (Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock)

SCI, London, UK

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


With an increasing global population, the demand for food and animal products is growing rapidly. This leads to increasing interest in the use of sustainable forages (the main diet ingredient in ruminant diets) and agricultural practices to support the transition to the low-carbon economy in livestock production systems. The event will address issues around growing and using forage crops that can reduce livestock’s greenhouse gas emissions. The morning session of this meeting will introduce alternative forages and their potential to reduce livestock emissions. The afternoon session will focus on a systems-approach analysis about the overall impact of introducing alternative forages and agricultural practices  on livestock emissions; and provide practical examples and solutions on how to grow and feed them successfully.


The event is intended to broker links between science, agriculture and industry, with a target audience of academics, students and early-career researchers in the field; stakeholders across the food chain including farmers, agricultural consultants and managers, feed and food manufacturers, marketing and retailers; policy-makers; and consumers and public who are seeking evidence-based information around reducing livestock emissions.

Call for posters

Contributions are invited from early-stage researchers and PhD students working on the role of forages to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and the transition towards net-zero in livestock production. The objective for the competition is to identify posters which best explain the outcomes of the research, and also in the context of the potential for commercialisation.

There will be voucher prizes of £100 for 1st place and £50 for 2nd place. The 1st place winner will be additionally awarded with the opportunity to publish their poster in the Wiley-SCI journal GHG (Greenhouse Gases Science and Technology)

An abstract of maximum 250 words (250 words does not include author names, affiliations, references or figure captions) indicating title, authors, institution included with the Poster, should be sent to conferences@soci.org by Monday 21 November 2022 with the subject line “Sustainable Forages event - poster entry”. Download an abstract template here.


For further information and prices, please email conferences@soci.org


Prof Chris Reynolds

University of Reading

Chris Reynolds is Professor of Animal and Dairy Science and director of the Centre for Dairy Research at the University of Reading. Following postgraduate study at the University of Tennessee, he worked in the USDA-ARS Ruminant Nutrition Laboratory at Beltsville Maryland until moving to the University of Reading in 1993. He then spent 4 years as Associate Professor at Ohio State University, returning to Reading in 2006. His research has primarily concerned the nutritional physiology of ruminants in relation to energy and protein metabolism. Recent research has focused on the management of ruminants to reduce methane and reactive nitrogen emissions associated with milk and meat production, and the use of multi-species swards to improve the sustainability and resilience of ruminant production systems.

Dominika Krol


Dominika Krol is a Research Officer in the area of ‘Agricultural Gaseous Emissions’ in Teagasc, Environment, Soils and Land Use Department in Johnstown Castle, Wexford, Ireland and an Adjunct Lecturer in College of Science and Engineering at NUI Galway, Ireland. Her research interests include nitrogen management and fluxes in grazed grassland systems, in particular quantification and mitigation of nitrous oxide and ammonia, sustainable manure management and refinement of emission inventories.

Ellie Sweetman Roberts, BSc, PG Dip, MSc, MBA


Forage Crop Specialist at NIAB, responsible for forage crop variety list and commercial trial programmes, technical advice and project work. A background in livestock/mixed farming, with previous roles in higher education and training, agri-environment and knowledge exchange. Research interests in diverse forage cropping systems, grassland, soils, mixed species swards/herbal leys, biodiversity, optimising milk, meat and health through understanding soil-crop-animal interactions and economic and environmental sustainability of the UK livestock industry.

Dr Graham McAuliffe

Rothamsted Research

Dr Graham McAuliffe is an Environmental Scientist with a background in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Systems Thinking. His career-focus to date has largely centred on methodological improvements to LCA, including the quantification of specific uncertainties and the consideration of nutritional composition and quality within the burgeoning field of nutritional LCA (or nLCA). Utilising high-resolution data generated by the North Wyke Farm Platform, one of UKRI's National Capabilities, Graham and his colleagues were able to develop novel approaches for calculating carbon footprints of livestock systems. His experience pertaining to nLCA, which, as a method, is arguably still in its infancy, has resulted in being invited to consult on a number of national and international projects and ventures, including consulting for the FAO (Led by Professor Sarah McLaren, Massey University of New Zealand) on novel grey literature. Graham is currently the Team Leader and Principal Investigator (PI) of the LCA Group at Rothamsted Research which forms part of the wider Landscape Systems Team within Rothamsted's Scientific Directorate, Net Zero and Resilient Farming, led by Professor Adrian Collins.

Dr James Humphreys


Dr James Humphreys is a Principal Research Officer at Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Co. Cork. He is an expert in pasture-based dairy production with over 20 years’ experience of systems-scale experiments and farm-scale studies at Solohead Research Farm and on commercial dairy farms. The focus is on developing economically competitive systems of dairy production to achieve national emissions reduction targets.

Martin Lukac

University of Reading

Martin Lukac is Professor of Ecosystem Science, with more than 20 years of experience in research on ecology of forest and agricultural ecosystems, agroforestry and soil science. His main area of expertise is terrestrial ecosystem productivity and functioning, role of diversity in ecosystem stability, and carbon cycling in ecosystems.

Oli Lee


Oli is a progressive lowland livestock farmer from south Leicestershire. The business operates as a family partnership and has a strong focus on forage-based beef and lamb production using a variety of pasture types and grazable arable crops. He has previously worked in the meat processing sector and has extensive experience in delivering farm business consultancy to businesses across England and Wales. Oli is an appointee on the NFU National Livestock board and always strives to practically demonstrate how grazing systems can offer solutions to the net zero challenge.

Paul Totterdell

Cotswold Seeds Ltd

Paul Totterdell runs Cotswold Seeds Ltd, and has 22 years experience as a seed merchant specialising in seed mixes for animal forage, soil improvement and agri-environmental schemes. Cotswold Seeds works with 20,000 farms across the UK providing specialist advice on seed mix formulation and management, as well as owning a knowledge exchange centre in the Cotswolds called FarmED. Paul has a particular interest in Diverse Mixtures and Herbal Leys which have become very popular in recent times due to extremes in weather and the political climate. As part of his role, Paul was involved for many years with the multi-million pound, EU-funded Healthy Hay and Legume Plus research programmes, focusing on the science behind the forgotten novel legumes, such as Sainfoin, and has collaborated more recently with various scientific and academic groups such as the SARIC group based in Reading University and Innovation Farm at NIAB in Cambridge.


Tuesday 6 December 2022

Registration and refreshments
Challenges and opportunities of introducing alternative forages from a policy perspective
Rick Bruintjes and Ellie Sweetman, DEFRA
Session 1 – Forages for net-zero
The role of multispecies pasture in reducing emissions in livestock production
Chris Reynolds, University of Reading
The role of clover in reducing emissions in livestock production
James Humphreys, Teagasc
Slurry emissions from various feedstocks
Dominika Krol, Teagasc
Panel questions and answers session
Refreshment break
Session 2 – Systems approach in reducing emissions
The role of soil-pasture-animals interactions on nitrous oxide emissions
Graham McAuliffe, Rothamsted Research
The environmental and socioeconomic implications of different forages
Adrian Williams, Cranfield University
Silvopasture: net-zero, biodiversity and happy grazers
Martin Lukac, University of Reading
Panel questions and answers session
Session 3 Implementation challenges and solutions
The future of grass and clover: breeding advances for net-zero grassland
David Lloyd, Germinal
Multispecies swards: how to grow successfully
Paul Totterdell, Cotswold Seeds
Challenges and opportunities in alternative forages: the farmers' perspective
Oli Lee, NFU
Panel questions and answers session
Networking reception
Conference close
Due to the uncertainty and ever changing situation regarding the pandemic and company travel policies, it may be necessary for some speakers to present remotely at short notice.
Venue and Contact


14/15 Belgrave Square

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org

Before early bird - ends 8 Nov 2022
SCI member - £90
BSAS / BGS member* - £90
Non-member - £145
Student member - £40
After early bird
SCI member - £140
BSAS / BGS member* - £140
Non-member - £195
Student member - £70

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Organising committee

Sokratis Stergiadis, University of Reading
Peter Reineck, SCI
Annie Williams, CIEL
Michael Lee, Harper Adams University
David Kenny, Teagasc
Maggie Mitchell, BSAS