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The role of subsidies in beef cattle farms in SW Spain: a comparison of organic and extensive farms

Escribano, A.J.; Gaspar, P.; Pulido, A.F.; Mesias, F.J.; Escribano, M.; Pulido, F. and Rodriguez De Ledesma, A (2012) The role of subsidies in beef cattle farms in SW Spain: a comparison of organic and extensive farms. In: Book of abstracts of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, p. 30.

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Livestock farming systems of the Spanish rangelands (dehesas) are traditional systems characteristic of the Iberian Peninsula where native herbaceous vegetation and evergreen species of Quercus provide the foundation for extensive beef farming enterprises. Dehesas are considered to be the most extensive, diverse, and low-intensity land use systems in Europe. Nevertheless, in the last twenty years, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has produced some important effects in these systems, specially an increase of the stocking rate. Although CAP policies contributed to stabilizing income in dehesa farms, they also produced loss of sustainability. Nevertheless, EU subsidies have become a key element in these enterprises, accounting for as much as 30% of the farms' revenues. In recent years, many of these traditional beef farms have turned to organic production trying to take advantage both of the new CAP subsidies and of new market trends. Theoretically, once these farms are organically certified, they can increase their profits by asin niche market with higer prices. Often things do not happen this way, and farms are forced to higher expenses on input purchases and greater realiance on subsidies if they want to remain in opearation. In the present context, in which the maintenance of agricultural subsidies in their current state is not clear -though with some confidence a redution can be expected in the medium term- these farms may face serious problems. Therefore, this paper examines the economic indicators of 90 conventional and organic dehesa beef farms in Extremadura (SW Spain), developing a comparative study. Specifically, the role of subsidies in both types of farms is reported, and strategies for the future of the future proposed based on alternative CAP scenarios.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:organic, beef cattle, livestock, subsidies, CAP
Agrovoc keywords:
organic husbandry
Beef cattle
Subjects: Farming Systems > Farm economics
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Research affiliation: Spain > University of Extremadura
Deposited By: Escribano, Dr. Alfredo J
ID Code:29135
Deposited On:22 Dec 2017 10:54
Last Modified:22 Dec 2017 10:54
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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