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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Cattle breeding and the environment in France : a diagnosis that justifies new technical alternatives ?

INRA Prod. Anim., 16(4), 231-249.


1 INRA-ESR, rue de la Géraudière, BP 71627, 44316 Nantes cedex 03

2 INRA-ENA, UMR Production du lait 35590 Saint Gilles


The relation between cattle breeding and the environmentare complex with positive implications (use ofland, a strong autonomy of the feeding system, maintainingof biodiversity) and negative implications (anincrease in nitrates and phosphorus in water, emissionof gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect).These relations are historically and locally closelydependent on technical factors (the level of intensificationof fodder surfaces, productivity of productionfactors, fertilisation plans, conditions of stocking oflivestock manure ...). They are generally stronglyinfluenced by certain economic considerations (theevolution of consumption, consideration in the pricesof products, of a respect of environmental engagements...) and political considerations (environmental norms,way that public authorities intervene in the collectivemanagement of the offer and in the territorial distributionof production, mechanism of attribution ofrights and premiums ...). The analysis of these relationsis made delicate by the diversity of the productionsystems and the interlacing of management problems ofplants and animals. Besides the obligatory incitationsof agricultural politics, several technical evolutionscould interact in the sense of improving the relation ofthe environment. These technical evolutions, eitherpunctual (suppression of waste and more preciseadjusting of input, management of droppings ...) ormore radical (modification of production systems),will be possible if they are accompanied by a socialand/or economic improvement on the farm level.

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