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Adaptability through spatial management: A case study of livestock farms in the Massif Central (France)

Abstract : Over the last 15 years livestock farms in Europe have faced considerable changes in their socio-economic environment. Furthermore, many of these farms are situated in areas with heavy environmental and agronomic constraints. Adapting spatial management to socio-economic changes is a real challenge for these farming areas. This research work analyzes and compares the forms of assignment and management of farm territories in mountain areas of French Massif Central. It also describes various forms of farm adaptability with regard to spatial management. The studied area covers two agricultural regions where permanent grassland and cattle farming predominate. We investigated the spatial management of thirty three livestock farms and its links with cattle management and the farming system. The analysis confirms the role of known factors influencing land use (relief, distance, agronomic potential, etc.). Other less known factors have also been identified: collective mountain land management, location of buildings assigned to animals, environmental or production specifications, collective family farm organization. All of these factors are combined in different ways, revealing distinct spatial management in livestock farms, particularly in terms of fodder securing systems. Moreover, we highlighted that the spatial management is a good clue to analyse the adaptation possibilities of livestock farms. It results from a combination of several constraints, concerning the agro-climatic conditions, the farm-land lay-out, the conditions of implementation of the fodder system, and at last, it seems to be particularly adapted to each farm, according to its current farming system. In the regions investigated, the adaptations of livestock farm may be difficult in the future, because the three kinds of the conditions and constraints present simultaneously important uncertainties or changes
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Contributor : Migration Irstea Publications <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 2:55:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 4:12:03 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02591217, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00025204


A. Guéringer, Hélène Rapey, Marie Houdart, Geneviève Bigot, Etienne Josien, et al.. Adaptability through spatial management: A case study of livestock farms in the Massif Central (France). 8th European International Farming Systems Association (IFSA) Symposium, Jul 2008, Clermont-Ferrand, France. pp.11. ⟨hal-02591217⟩



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