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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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The study of work in farms : method and results for mixed farming systems with dairy cattle and sheep in Margeride

INRA Prod. Anim., 5 (3), 193-204.


INRA SAD, Laboratoire Adaptations des Herbivores aux Milieux, Theix - 63122 St Genès Champanelle

* Institut de l’Elevage, Chambre Régionale d’Agriculture, BP 455 63012 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1
** ENITA Clermont-Ferrand 63370 Lempdes

Farms with both dairy cattle and sheep for meat in Margeride (Massif Central) are considered to involve an extremely heavy work load. The method used to describe the work involved is based on interview, identifying the following : 1) the different categories of workers on the farms (the principal workforce : permanent workers except retired workers ; volunteer workers : retired workers, occasional workers ; helpers from neighbouring farms ; seasonnaly paid workers. 2) the time devoted to 3 different types of work (Compelled work : daily care and feeding of the herd ; Seasonal work : crop management and upkeep of fields, harvesting, periodic herd transfer  ; &dquo;Paying back favours&dquo; : working in return for previously given help. 3) the remaining time for the principal workforce to carry out other necessary tasks for the smooth running of the farm and to have the free time. In the 12 farms studied the amount of time needed for essential and seasonal work seems to be on average, very large and above all very variable (1-3). The remaining time calculed per person of the principal workforce varies from 1- 10. An analysis of observed differences is presented concerning : shepherding, ambitious technical projects unadapted to buildings in poor condition, less research to obtain work efficiency in the case where there is a surplus of workers, and the important role played by voluntary workers.

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