Ravetto Enri S.1, Bausson C.2, Ten Berge H.3, Hiron M.4, Jones M.5, Klaus V.H.6, Buchmann N.6, Lellei-Kovács E.7, Rankin J.8, Fernández-Rebollo P.9, Schils R.3, Tonn B.11,12, Lombardi G.1 and Newell Price P.5
1University of Torino, Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Italy; 2Chambre régionale d’agriculture de Normandie, France; 3Agrosystems Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands; 4Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology, Sweden; 5ADAS, United Kingdom; 6ETH Zürich, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Environmental Systems Science, Switzerland; 7Institute of Ecology and Botany, Centre for Ecological Research, Hungary; 8Agrisearch, Northern Ireland; 9University of Córdoba, Department of Forestry, Spain; 10University of Göttingen, Department of Crop Sciences, Germany; 11FiBL Forschungsinstitut für Biologischen Landbau, Switzerland
The relevance of permanent grasslands (PG) for a large share of European farms is high, and yet understudied. We used single-farm records from the FADN (Farm Accountancy Data Network) database 2017, which included 41,926 farms-with-PG to characterize PG-based farming systems. Each farm was assigned to one class in terms of: (1) main livestock species/category; (2) stocking rate on total farmland; (3) PG share; (4) biogeographic region (BGR). We carried out a Multi Correspondence Analysis (MCA) on the resulting classification, which explained 20% of the variance. The five BGR separated well in the first two MCA dimensions. Alpine farms were predominantly related to beef cattle, with relatively low stocking rates, and intermediate to high PG shares. Atlantic farms also revealed high PG shares, but were linked to higher stocking rates and ‘Mixed bovine’ and ‘Dairy cow’ farming. The dominance of farms without livestock in the Boreal BGR resulted in generally very low stocking rates and showed a limited importance of PG. Continental farms were not clearly related to one specific livestock category or a stocking rate, but consistently showed a share of 10-30% PG per farm. Finally, the Mediterranean BGR separated from the others, being dominated by sheep and goat farming.
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