Environmental and animal benefits in organic pig production – are alternative foraging crops and poplar trees feasible strategies?

PhD defence, Friday 21 September 2018, Malene Jakobsen

2018.09.21 | Helle Karvonen

Malene Jakobsen

During her PhD project, Malene Jakobsen researched organic pig farming and the effects of introducing alternative foraging crops and poplar trees, respectively, into organic pig production systems.

By modelling, three scenarios of organic pig production, which differed with regard to the level of free-ranging and type of foraging crops, were set up and compared in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and nitrate leaching at farm level.

In an on-farm experiment, environmental effects and possible animal benefits of an area with poplar trees were investigated in a pasture system with lactating sows in individual paddocks by use of the following methods: Recording of sow behaviour and location, analyses of soil samples for mineral nitrogen and soil water samples for nitrate.

The research findings contribute to further development of a sustainable organic pig production by addressing the challenge related to reducing the environmental and climatic impacts of free-range pigs, while supporting the organic principles of providing the animals opportunity to perform natural behavior.

The PhD degree was completed at the section for Agricultural Systems and Sustainability, Department of Agroecology, Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé is prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday 21 September 2018 at 10.00
Place: 8814-3075, Auditorium, Foulum, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele
Title of PhD thesis: Integrating foraging and agroforestry into organic pig production – environmental and animal benefits.
Contact information: Malene Jakobsen, e-mail: malene.jakobsen@agro.au.dk, tel.: +45 91567896
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Christine Watson, Department of Soil Science & Systems at Scotland’s Rural College, Currently, Guest Researcher at Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
Emerita Professor Sandra Edwards, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Senior researcher Chris Kjeldsen (chair), Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Senior researcher Anne Grete Kongsted, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Co-supervisor:
Senior researcher John Erik Hermansen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD thesis will be defended in English


The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 15.11.2018