• Trees in new paddock designs for outdoor sow herds benefits the environment, economy and animal welfare

The Danish outdoor sow herds are efficient systems with low antibiotic usages and the outdoor image is an important brand for Danish organic agriculture - but high risk of nutrient losses from the pastures challenge the production. A part of the solution is to implement trees in the paddocks, but inventive thinking regarding the paddock design and management is needed to increase the economic and environmental benefits of the trees.

Improved animal welfare, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration

OUTFIT will contribute to the development of economically sustainable paddock designs that ensure low nutrient losses while maintaining high animal welfare, biodiversity and carbon sequestration. The project develops, demonstrates and investigates new paddock designs with diverse trees in new designs. At the same time, OUTFIT addresses one of the biggest barriers to the implementation of trees in paddocks by having a strong focus on increasing the value of the “seized” wood area.

The project is interdisciplinary with a strong focus on organic practice, and is expected to inspire and support more producers to establish trees in paddocks for the benefit of animals, the environment, climate and biodiversity.

OUTFIT wants to:

investigate how paddocks with trees can be designed to meet organic pig producers' diverse objectives and production conditions - using four case studies

investigate how nutrient losses from the paddock areas can be reduced by establishing trees in new con­cepts and designs

investigate the extent to which it is possible to "capture" soil nitrogen in nutrient hotspots in the paddocks using wood chips

explore the possibilities of har­vesting and ensiling green wood biomass in practice, and deter­mine the nutritional value of the silage for pregnant sows

clarify how the paddock designs can be improved in relation to economics, biodiversity and the climate footprint    

 Project period: 2021-2024

The project is part of the Organic RDD 6 program, which is coordinated by ICROFS (International Center for Research in Organic Farming and Food Systems) in collaboration with GUDP.


Project manager

Senior researcher Anne Grete Kongsted
Department of Agroecology
Land-line: +45 87157993
Mobile: +45 93522514
Anne Grete Kongsted

Project partners

  • Department of Agroecology: Anne Grete Kongsted, Marie Trydeman Knudsen, Uffe Jørgensen, Kris­tine Vigh Riis
  • Department of Food Science: Martin Jensen
  • Department of Animal Science: Peter Kappel Theil
  • Innovation Centre for Organic Farming: Julie Rohde Birk 
  • Organic pig producers: Hestbjerg Økologi (Bertel Hestbjerg) og Risbjerg Landbrug (Kirsten Ras­mussen)
  • Technological Institute: Søren Ugilt Larsen
  • Center for Frilandsdyr: Rikke Thomsen, Simme Eriksen, Marie Lund Buus
  • Ny Vraa Bioenergy: Henrik og Anders Bach