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Suckler cattle on organic farming compared to conventional farming: a monitoring network of farms to study the functioning and the technical et economic results.

{Project} Suckler cattle on organic farming compared to conventional farming: a monitoring network of farms to study the functioning and the technical et economic results. Runs 2000 - 2006. Project Leader(s): VEYSSET, Patrick, INRA.

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Summary

The aim of this network is to study the functioning of organic suckler cattle farms, their technical and economic results. They are compared to conventional farms to underline there specificities and the keys of the system. As the context on organic farming is evolving a lot (market, techniques, structures of farms…), they are long term studies.
The study is based on a monitoring network of 7 organic farms and 79 conventional each year. Economic and technical data are recorded on the farms twice a year and analyzed according to the methodology of our unit. This methodology is based on the relationship between functioning, technical data and economic results.
The observation over 3 years (2000-2003) showed that the technical results from the herd management (herd productivity criteria) are identical to those of conventional systems. The ban on chemical fertilisers entails a drop in pasture yield of 20%, so the stocking rate is 20% lower in OF systems than in conventional. The animal health is not a problem.
The live weight of the sold animals and the meat production / livestock unit is 15% lower in OF than in conventional systems because farmers feed the animals with less concentrates (due to the regulation and to the high purchasing price of the organic concentrates). The first year of the study the selling prices of the OF animals were good (30% higher than conventional). So the gross farm product were higher. But since 2002 it has become difficult to sell OF animals, prices have dropped and in 2003 the farm product was 10% lower in OF systems. The proportional costs are 35% lower in OF systems (less inputs), but the feed self-sufficiency has to be reached with mixed crop-livestock farming systems. The net farm income / worker is slightly higher in OF systems but much more fluctuating each year.
In the current context the development or the only maintenance of OF beef farms will be possible with a better structuring of the organic meat production sector and with long term subsidies including environmental aspects, and maybe, the health value of the products which remains to be shown.


EPrint Type:Project description
Keywords:suckler cattle, farming systems, economics, farm network, farm monitoring
Subjects: Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Research funders: France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Location:LEE INRA Clermont-Theix 63122 Saint Genès Champanelle France
Start Date:1 January 2000
End Date:31 December 2006
Deposited By: Veysset, M. Patrick
ID Code:5669
Deposited On:13 Sep 2005
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:27

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