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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Ovine meat production in organic farming as compared to conventional breeding : technico-economic results from farms on north of the Massif Central (France).

INRA Prod. Anim., 17(2), 133-143.


INRA, Unité Economie de l’Elevage, Theix, F-63122 Saint-Genès Champanelle

During the last five years, organic farming (OF) has undergone an unequal development : between 1997 and 2002, the surface used for OF was multiplied by 3 and the number of ewes by 5. This growth was accompanied by an important need for references, especially technical-economic. The observation over 3 years of 24 OF sheep dairy farms, compared to 39 conventional sheep dairy farms showed a specificity for the OF farms, while confirming the principal factors of the margin per ewe and those of the revenue. The quantity consumed is decisive for the margin per ewe, given the price of the concentrates in OF, 1.8 times higher than that on conventional farms. This may be reduced by an improved valorisation of the fodder surface. The gain of the sale of lambs in OF has decreased over the last 3 years, reaching only 16% in mountainous zones and 0% in plains, in 2002. The revenue of organic farmers (without the CTE aid) is 39% lower in mountainous zones and 57% lower in plains than that of conventional farmers. The margin per ewe, work productivity and structural costs are decisive for the revenue. In the current context that favours conventional lambs, permitting only a small gain for OF lambs, the development or only the maintenance of OF farms must include long term aid that includes environmental aspects, and maybe, the health value of the products which remains to be shown.

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