Mid-conference tour 1: Mountain sheep farming
This tour will take you to the municipality of Oppdal, located between the two great mountain regions Dovrefjell and Trollheimen in the southern part of Trøndelag. More than 55% of the total area of this municipality is national park or protected land hosting both wolverine, bear, lynx, wolf and eagles as well as musk. At the same time, Oppdal has the largest sheep ranges in the country with approximately 45,000 sheep grazing in the mountains each summer. Consequently, conflicts between predators and farming interests are frequent. In addition to sheep, milk and beef farming, potato production and fur farming have traditionally been cornerstones in the agricultural business of Oppdal. Oppdal ski resort is one of the country’s largest ski lift areas and winter tourism is considerable. However, also summer tourism is well developed and closely linked to farming activities. Oppdal is also well known for its slate industry.
The tour will mainly focus on sheep farming with connected forage production (hay and silage making, cultivated pastures and rangelands), agro-tourism and predator challenges. The tour will end with a dinner at a 400 year old sheep farm.
Photo: Astrid Johansen
The tour will take you 45-60 minutes drive south-west of Trondheim, to the municipality of Orkdal, and will focus on forage production and dairy farming under conventional and ecological practice. We will also visit the factory of Orkel, a supplier of round balers, compactors and transport equipment represented in over 50 countries on all continents.
The conventional farm is a co-operative including a small on-farm dairy plant. The farm has lately been objected for different on-farm studies on e.g. soil compaction, seed mixtures, and whole crop silage production. Some of these will be presented and discussed. The ecological farm is a family business and a typical representative for ecological dairy farming in the area.
The tour will end with dinner at the historical Bårdshaug Hotel. The hotel with atmosphere from the early 1900’s was the home of the entrepreneur and man of the world Christian Thams – architect, minister, landowner and consul.
This tour will take you 100 km north of Trondheim, to the municipalities of Levanger and Verdal. The tour follows the route E6 along the eastern side of the Trondheimsfjord with many scenic views. The area is among the most important for animal production in Norway, as well as for cereal production in Central Norway.
We will visit a farm with suckler cows as well as one or two dairy farms, all with cereal production additional to forage production. We will focus on grazing, combination of grazing and harvesting, disposal of animal manure, machinery co-operatives and animal production.
The tour will end with a visit and dinner at Stiklestad National Culture Centre. Stiklestad is famous as the battlefield where King Olaf Haraldsson (later known as St. Olaf), fell on July 29. 1030. Traditionally, Olaf has been seen as leading the Christianisation of Norway.
This tour will take you to the municipality of Rissa located in the southern end of the Fosen peninsula. The arrival is facilitated by a ferry journey of approximately 30 min across the Trondheimsfjord. The Fosen area is dominated by forested valleys, lakes, coastal cliffs but also shallow areas, and the interior mountains reaching up to 700 m.a.s.l. Part of the Scandinavian coastal conifer forests are located in the area. Rissa is the second most important agricultural municipality in Central Norway, dairy production being the cornerstone. However, there are also sheep production as well as cereal production.
During the tour, we will visit dairy farms and a co-operative rangeland area for sheep. We will also make stops at restored areas with great historical and cultural value, and we will have a view of the area which in 1987 was home to a quick-clay landslide which encompassed an area of 330.000 m and sent 6.000.000 m3 on to the sea. A visit at the ruins of Rein Abbey and the accompanying ecological farm and Rein estate will be included. Locally produced ecological beer, lemonade and aquavit are sold at the farm. We will have dinner based on local food resources before returning to Trondheim.
Walking boots, a warm sweater as well as wind and rain-tight clothing is strongly recommended for those who want to join this trip.
This tour will take you to the northern part of Trøndelag where we will visit some of the most species rich semi-natural grasslands in the region. The tour will focus on the linkage between farming practices, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. One of the localities is a nature reserve of semi-natural salt marshes where restoration and management are initiated to secure the high nature conservation value and to re-establish and maintain the plant and wading bird diversity.
We will also visit a farm where traditional mowing practices are used to conserve species rich hay meadows. Hay meadows used to be common and widespread in Norway in former days, but is a threatened nature type due to the land use changes during the last decades. The Action Plan for Hay Meadows in Norway emphasis cooperation between farmers and different government administration sectors and aim to halt the loss of biodiversity.