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The organisation of work in livestock farming: an analysis of 630 work assessments in eight production sectors

INRA Prod Anim 25(2) 101-112

S. COURNUT¹, ², ³, ⁴, S. CHAUVAT⁵

1 Clermont Université, VetAgro Sup, UMR Métafort, BP 35, F-63370 Lempdes, France

2 INRA, UMR1273 Métafort, F-63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France

3 AgroParisTech, UMR Métafort, BP 90054, F-63172 Aubière, France

4 Irstea, UMR Métafort, BP 50085, F-63172 Aubière, France

5 Institut de l’Elevage, SupAgro, F-34060 Montpellier, France


Qualifying the liveability of livestock farms from the work point of view is becoming an important issue in the present context of serious questioning regarding the replacement of livestock farmers. We analysed the diversity of work organisation on 630 French livestock farms from varied production sectors (herbivore and monogastric), being either specialized or mixed. We used the Work Assessment method, which quantifies the work duration and evaluates room for manoeuvre time for farmers. Every production sector has its specificities linked to different technical but also socio-cultural models. Some proximity has been founded between herbivore and monogastric sectors. The evaluation of the room for manoeuvre showed that for 30% of the farms surveyed, liveability is questioned. By describing the diversity of logic of work organisation, we showed that there are different ways to decrease the routine workload and get some available time. We identified four logics of work organisation leading to contrasted room for manoeuvre, which result from complex interactions between dimension and combination of activities, and collective workforce configuration. We discuss the contributions of such results for extension and development.