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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Specialised suckling cows farms has been greatly affected by the economic crisis of 1990/1991. Evolution from 1989/90 and further long term of a group of farms in Central Charolais

INRA Prod. Anim., 4 (4), 329-338.


INRA Laboratoire d’Economie de l’Elevage, Theix - 63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle

After only two years of respite (1988-1990), both French and European meat production entered a new crisis in 1990 which appeared with a sharp drop in market rates (- 7 % between 1989 and 1990, - 15 % in the summer of 1991). This affected specialised suckling cows farms particularly, jeopardizing their future. This report presents changes in the technicoeconomic results of a group of 95 charolais farmers in the grazing zones of central France (Nièvre, Creuse, Sa6ne and Loire, Allier) with good available production structures (298 acres, 63 cows, 120 livestocks units). Revenue dropped by 27 % between 1989 and 1990, despite compensation and an increase in work productivity, which reached and average of 18 000 kg of live meat per worker. The analysis of the long term evolution of these farms shows a strong increase in meat production per man work year (+ 40 % in Nièvre between 1978 and 1990, + 32 % in Creuse between 1981 and 1990). This was obtained with to an improvement in the meadow’s stocking rate and with continued increase in farm size. This did not prevent a drop in revenue in the order of 21% when compared to 1978 and of 30% when compared to 1981. How, under these conditions, can the capital necessary for an increase in the number of livestock, the buying of new equipment indispensible for efficient farming,and for handing on the company, without creating excessive debts (which in turn generate more debts for the future), be found ? In these dominantly grass growing regions, low cost replacement solutions are met with sheep, whose price (in constant franc) has halved in 10 years, or cereals and oleoprotein crops, where yields vary and whose prices are also decreasing. The extension measures proposed by the E.E.C. are badly adapted to these zones, which are already not very productive. Specific measures will be necessary to preserve these farms which represent a potential for quality meat and which constitute a basis for the upkeep of these areas and to maintain communities in otherwise disadvantage regions.

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