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Abstract

Increasing the level of feed autonomy (self-sufficiency) is usually considered as a prerequisite for conversion of cattle farms to organic farming. Technically it requires adjusting fodder production and feed purchases in terms of quantity and quality to the requirements of the herd. A joint technical and economic assessment of feed autonomy in organic cattle farms was conducted. Data were collected in 2014 and 2015 on 11 Belgian farms located in distinct agricultural regions and characterised by different proportions of grassland area. Dry matter yield and nutritional quality were determined at each harvest for each fodder crop, including permanent and temporary grasslands, immature cereal-legume crops and grain crops. Animal productions and economic data, including all cash inflows and outflows, were recorded. Economically efficient farms had high levels of feed autonomy, ranging from 89 to 100%. Three economically-efficient feeding strategies were identified for organic cattle production. Strategies differed from each other according to the proportion of grassland area, level of animal production and the achieved level of feed autonomy.
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Analyse de la valorisation des ressources auto-produites que représentent les fourrages et engrais de ferme au sein d'exploitation d'élevage d'un parc naturel en Belgique
  • A Bernes
  • S Cremer
  • D Amerlynck
  • V Decruyenaere
  • C Clément
  • D Jamar
  • S Hennart
  • D Stilmant
Bernes, A., Cremer, S., Amerlynck, D., Decruyenaere, V., Clément, C., Jamar, D., Hennart, S. and Stilmant, D. (2011) Analyse de la valorisation des ressources auto-produites que représentent les fourrages et engrais de ferme au sein d'exploitation d'élevage d'un parc naturel en Belgique. 3R, 18: 305-308.