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Title: Expected challenges to the resilience and efficiency of cattle farming in various European regions – stakeholder views and analysis
Authors: Quiédeville, Sylvain
Moakes, Simon
Leiber, Florian
Burns, Jay
Casasús Pueyo, Isabel
Cozzi, Giulio
Issue Date: 2019
Series/Report no.: GenTORE: Genomic management Tools to Optimise Resilence and Efficiency
Abstract: The presented results are an overview of the manifold and deep perspectives, the combined approaches of analysing the extensive FADN/Agri4cast-based farm database, together with stakeholder engagement through online and direct interviews give us on dairy and beef system performance, as well as breeding aims and objectives. It is clear from this first data analysis that whilst the European dairy sector has a high efficiency rate, its resilience to economic shocks in particular is low. The beef sector appears to operate at a lower level of efficiency, and in some regions, e.g. Boreal, the margins are often negative. The reasons for these empirical facts can be discovered in the underlying regional, climatic and farming systems’ structures, which the database gives excellent opportunity to realise. Climatic shocks caused a more variable reaction, and were regionally specific, with cooler wetter regions such as North West Atlantic benefiting from increased heat and even drought in the spring. The farm systems of the Mediterranean seemed most of all resilient to increased heat and drought, probably because they are historically adapted to such climates. By contrast, the Western Atlantic region showed a negative effect on efficiency from drought in particular, indicating weak resilience. These differences show, how important the interaction between regional systems’ conditions and increasing climatic impacts is. These interactions will be further analysed and sharpened by exploiting the given database. In summary, it is clear that European cattle production has strong regional and farm system related differences, which define the challenges to efficiency and resilience against them. The analysis is ongoing and will result in a series of publications, quantifying these differences and their meaning to the economic development of the cattle sector across Europe. Finally, this will also result in a clear picture of what is required biologically from a cow that should contribute best to resilience and efficiency of the farm it lives in.
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