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Integration of organic pig production into land use

Hermansen, John E. (2005) Integration of organic pig production into land use. In: Sundrum, A. and Weissmann, F. (Eds.) Organic pig production in free range systems. Sonderheft (special issue), no. 281. Landbauforschung Völkenrode FAL Agricultural Research , pp. 3-12.

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The development in organic livestock production can be attributed to an increased consumer interest in organic products while, at the same time, farmers are interested in converting to organic production methods – often stimulated by governmental support or subsidies. It is important that the organic production systems can fulfil the expectations of each of these stakeholders if the organic livestock production is to increase further. This is in particular important if the organic pig production should move from the present niche-production to a real player in the food marked, like in the case of beef and milk.
In the regulations for organic farming, the aspect of allowing a high degree of natural behaviour of the livestock is among others translated in the requirement that livestock in certain periods of their life or of the year should be allowed to graze or have access to another outdoor area. The most common outdoor systems for pig used in intensively managed organic production have some important drawbacks in relation to environmental impact (risk of N-leaching and ammonia volatilisation), animal welfare (nose-ringed sows) and workload and management constraints.
With the starting point in the present experience in such systems, it is argued that there is a need for a radical development of the systems. There is a need to search for systems where the outdoor/free range systems (for the sake of the livestock) are constructed and managed in a way whereby the livestock at the same time exert a positive influence on other parts of the farming systems. There is evidence that pregnant sows can fulfil their nutritional needs to a large extent by grazing, that co-grazing sows with heifers can diminish the parasite burden of the heifers, and that the pigs’ inclination for rooting can be managed in a way that makes ploughing and other heavy land cultivation more or less superfluous. These elements need to be further explored as a basis for future system development.

EPrint Type:Report chapter
Keywords:Livestock production
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > II. 9 (PIGSYS) New systems in organic pig production
Deposited By: Kirkegaard, Lene/LKI
ID Code:6094
Deposited On:02 Nov 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:31
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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