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Mixed milk-beef production systems in the region of Neufchâteau, Vosges

INRA Prod. Anim.,1 (4), 235-243.


ENSSAA Dijon, INRA - Unité de Recherches SAD, Versailles-Dijon, 26, boulevard Docteur Petitjean, 21000 Dijon

*CEZ de Rambouillet, 78120 Rambouillet
**Ministère de l’Agriculture D.R.A.C., 78, rue de Varenne, 75700 Paris

In the essentially milk producing region of Neufchâteau (Vosges) there also exists mixed milk-beef production in 25 % of the farms. Using 59 farms for the study, a typology was created to try to describe the different courses of change and the logic behind the functioning of these mixed systems. Seven different groups of farms were created according to the type of production (intensive milk production, non-specialized or beef production) and farming conditions (land parcels, workforce availability and the presence or not of a successor). This typology enables analysis of the reasons why milk farmers have decided to develop beef production from calves born on their farms and it demonstrates the diversity of mixed systems and the types of meat production that were found in the region. The two dominant types of production (18-21 month old cattle-feed fattened bullocks and 30-40 month old pasture-fed bulls) were justified because these often enabled the farmer to work with existing conditions on the farm (arrival of a son, parcelling of the land or absence of successor). The future of these mixed production systems seems to be partially linked to technical improvements which may result, from these two production types, e.g. better land management and the use of adapted diets. In this milk producing region, beef production may develop rapidly in the future, moreso because surplus milk production will be severely penalized financially.

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