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New grassland management and quality adjustment strategies for dairy farmers in less favoured areas.

Abstract : To maintain dairy production in less favoured regions, the value of the milk produced must be increased. The adoption of European quality labels could accomplish this. But the specifications required must change, particularly for the feeding system, to develop high quality cheese production. Any changes in requirements must be compatible with farmers' strategies. It is therefore important to study these practices and their evolution. In this paper, we analyze (i) livestock farming systems and their coherence; (ii) the role of the cheese-making industry in the evolution of farmers' strategies. The evolution of limitation or suppression on the use of maize silage in cows' diets was studied in two mountainous in southwest France (Pyrénées and Aubrac). The methodology was based on interviews and descriptive analysis of farmers' practices (orage and herd management). The coherence of farmer production systems was analyzed using formalized descriptions of livestock farming systems. It was found that grassland management is tending toward new grazing or ay-making practices that allow increasing grass contribution to the cow diet (100% of the cow feeding with grazing). Also, 1/4 farmers has begun o switch the main milking period to spring so that cows' requirements and grass growth coincide better; despite the factor that for many years the milk industry has been promoting milking in autumn. One case study showed that an increase of milk price was followed by rapid changes (fewer 4 years) in management practices.
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  • HAL Id : hal-02831149, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 12569



Vincent Thenard, Jean Pierre J. P. Theau, Michel M. Duru. New grassland management and quality adjustment strategies for dairy farmers in less favoured areas.. IEEP Annual meeting, Aug 2008, UPPSALA, Sweden. 1p. ⟨hal-02831149⟩



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