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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Advantages of winter grazing on rangelands for sheep farms : case study in the Pre-Alps

INRA Prod. Anim., 17(4), 275-286.


1 Institut de l’Elevage, Maison Régionale de l’Elevage, Route de la Durance, F-04100 Manosque

2 Agro.M, UMR Elevage des Ruminants en Régions Chaudes, 2 place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier cedex 1


The purpose of this study is to propose technicalrecommendations in order to graze ewes during winteron mountain rangelands in the Pre-Alps area and toanalyse the economic advantage of winter grazing forsheep farming. If land access to well exposed rangelandsis possible, winter grazing can be considered foropen ewes, before spring mating, and pregnant ewes,with the same zootechnical results than those for ewesfed indoors with stored forages. Hay needs for winterare reduced from 40 to 60 % and rangelands areas neededare from 0,35 to 0,58 ha per ewe. Thus, the GrossOperating Surplus of the sheep farm increased from 13to 20 % : winter grazing is of a real economic interest.At the local level, winter grazing could contribute tothe renewal of rangelands use and, thus, help sheepfarming to satisfy environmental functions, regardingthe second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy.

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