Mountain agriculture faces numerous challenges: diminishing number of farms and of animals, advancing of the forest, search for viable economic alternatives and multiple social demands concerning the maintenance of landscapes, of biodiversity and the offer of local quality products. Within this context, the PASTO project is testing and developing extensive production methods for meat of the Herens cattle breed. This method should both help maintain the landscape and create added value for the local economy. The project can count on an interdisciplinary partnership and has developed an integrated approach allowing to test these practices according to different aspects: agronomic, zoological, economic, environmental and social. With the objective of implementing these practices, different scenarios have been elaborated and then evaluated.
Stable climate has an important impact on the respiratory health of horses. In a study on indoor climate quality, three different ventilation systems were tested.
Although milk-production oriented (MPO) cow breeds have also become established in the mountain region, farms with the dual-purpose ‘Original Simmental’ breed are proving to be economically viable, with lower costs and higher direct payments making up for lower revenues from milk.
High milk yields before drying-off increase the risk of udder infections during the dry period. An online survey highlights what drying-off methods are currently used and how farmers rate the ‘incomplete milking’ approach for reducing milk yield.