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Do organic livestock farms differ from low-input conventional ones? Insights based on beef cattle in southern Europe

Escribano, A.J. (2017) Do organic livestock farms differ from low-input conventional ones? Insights based on beef cattle in southern Europe. In: Livestock Science. InTech, Croatia, pp. 50-80. [In Press]

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Summary

The objective of this study is to determine whether there are clear differences between conventional (but low-input) and organic beef cattle farms located in the Southwest of Spain. 33 conventional and 30 organic farms were compared in terms of structure, technical management, and performance. The results showed that organic farms (‘All Organic’) mainly focus on the production of calves at weaning age which are fattened in conventional holdings (‘Organic 1’; n= 22). The remaining organic farms (‘Organic 2’; n=11) showed to participate in almost all stages of the agri-value chain. ‘Conventional’ farms were mainly dedicated to producing calves at weaning age (similarly to Organic 1). Organic 1 had the smallest herd size: 80.18 LU, p<0.05). Organic 2 showed greater presence of indigenous breeds (62.08%, p <0.05). Conventional farms proved to bear higher feed and veterinary costs per area (161.59 and 17.87 € / ha; p <0.01 and p<0.05, respectively), but Organic 2 had higher feed costs per LU. Therefore, Conventional and All Organic were quite similar, and differences depended mainly on farm structure. Hence, being either conventional or organic does not seem to be a valid criterion for drawing conclusions regarding the benefits or characteristics of each system.


EPrint Type:Book chapter
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems
"Organics" in general
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Farming Systems
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Farming Systems > Buildings and machinery
Research affiliation: Spain
ISBN:ISBN 978-953-51-4861-6
Related Links:http://www.intechopen.com
Deposited By: Escribano, Dr. Alfredo J
ID Code:30518
Deposited On:14 Oct 2016 07:38
Last Modified:14 Oct 2016 07:38
Document Language:English
Status:In Press
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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