The purpose of this part of the PASTO project was to develop at farm level an extensive production system fulfilling a dual function – beef production and maintenance of the mountain landscape – and to compare it to a conventional system. A herd of Hérens suckler cows was exclusively kept under mountain conditions on a base farm in the Jura chain and on bushy alpine pastures in Central Valais during summering. With respect to performance, the results show that combining meat production in mountain areas with maintenance of the landscape is possible. However, the production system must be well managed in order to reach a feeding intensity level that is required to obtain the desired carcass quality, particularly the finishing degree, and also to maintain a sufficient body condition of the suckler cows. At the economical level, this dual purpose production system is profitable as long as the feeding costs are maintained under control.
PASTO: animal performance and economical results