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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Technical and economic performances in organic sheep meat production : observations of breeding networks and experimental farms

Inra Prod.Anim., 22 (3), 197-206


1 INRA, UR1213 Herbivores, F-63122 Saint-Genès Champanelle, France


 A network of 42 sheep farms (including 13 in organic farming -OF) shows that the gross margin per ewe is 24% lower in OF in the mountains because of high feed costs and comparable in the lowlands where the levels of fodder self-sufficiency are potentially higher given the possibility to use temporary pastures and to increase the share of pasture in the diet of animals ; on the contrary, the grain production can increase feed self-sufficiency and limit the dependence of farms on others. In mountain areas, the consistency of the system is more dif-ficult to define and technical management is relatively « sharp ». An analysis of four demonstration farms shows that, given the different conditions, specific livestock management is required depending on the presence of tillable land or not. If their proportion is limited, lam-bings are equally distributed between the spring and autumn in order to maximise fodder self-sufficiency while maximising the numerical productivity and widening the period of sales. When crops are possible, lambings are focussed on the autumn with good sale prices. In a context of high inflation in the price of concentrates, in suckling livestock in organic as well as conventional farming systems, high levels of forage and feed self-sufficiency are essential to ensure economic viability within the context of rising grain prices.

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