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Abstract

Increased occurrence of drought and dry spells during the growing season have resulted in increased interest in protection of tropical water catchment areas. In Mgeta, a water catchment area in the Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania, water used for vegetable and fruit production is provided through canals from the Uluguru South Forest Reserve. The clearing of forest land for cultivation in the steep slopes in the area is causing severe land degradation, which is threatening the water catchment area, livelihoods, and food security of the local communities, as well as the major population centers in the lowlands. In this paper, the economic performance of a traditional cropping-livestock system with East African (EA)-goats and pigs and extensive vegetable production is compared with a more sustainable and environmentally friendly crop-dairy goat production system. A linear programming (LP) crop-livestock model, maximizing farm income considering the environmental constraints in the area was applied for studying the economic performance of dairy goats in the production system. The model was worked out for the rainy and dry seasons and the analysis was conducted for a basic scenario representing the current situation, based on the variability in the 30 years period from 1982-2012, and in a scenario of both lower crop yields and increased crop variability due to climate change. Data obtained from a sample of 60 farmers that were interviewed using a questionnaire was used to develop and parameterize the model. The study found that in the steep slopes of the area, a crop-dairy goat system with extensive use of grass and multipurpose trees (MPTs) would do better than the traditional vegetable gardening with the EA goat production system. The crop-dairy goat system was superior both in the basic and in a climate change scenario since the yield variation of the grass and MPTs system was less affected compared to vegetable crops due to more tree cover and the use of perennial grasses. However, the goat milk production in the area was constrained by inadequate feeding and lack of an appropriate breeding program. Hence, farmers should enhance goat milk production by supplementing with more concentrate feed and by implementing goat-breeding principles. Moreover, policy measures to promote such a development are briefly discussed.

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Abstract

Sheep grazing is an important part of agriculture in the North Atlantic region, defined here as the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Scotland. This process has played a key role in shaping the landscape and biodiversity of the region, sometimes with major environmental consequences, and has also been instrumental in the development of its rural economy and culture. In this review, we present results of the first interdisciplinary study taking a long-term perspective on sheep management, resource economy and the ecological impacts of sheep grazing, showing that sustainability boundaries are most likely to be exceeded in fragile environments where financial support is linked to the number of sheep produced. The sustainability of sheep grazing can be enhanced by a management regime that promotes grazing densities appropriate to the site and supported by area-based subsidy systems, thus minimizing environmental degradation, encouraging biodiversity and preserving the integrity of ecosystem processes.

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Abstract

The study examines the economics of different calf rearing systems and considers effects of suckling and milk feeding on production, health and welfare of dairy cows and growth, milk and feed use, health and welfare of calves. The economics of (i) no suckling, (ii) suckling for 3 days, (iii) suckling for 7 weeks, all assuming milk or milk replacer fed until weaning at 13 weeks, was compared with (iv) suckling for 13 weeks and no milk feeding. A linear programming (LP) model, maximizing profit on a dual purpose dairy-beef farm in lowland eastern Norway, was used for the comparison. Details on calf rearing methods, labor, weaning age, intake of milk, and solid feed were gathered for a sample of organic farms and grouped according to the length of the suckling period. The data were coupled with the National Dairy Herd Recording System (NDHRS) using cross-sectional data for the years 2008–2013. The results of the model study showed that suck- ling up to at least 7 weeks and longer than on most farms in the survey, had a positive influence on the farm economics. This was due to the positive influence on calf growth and health as well as lowered costs. Consequently, dual purpose dairy-beef farmers should be careful to sacrifice calf suckling and restrict calf milk feeding. Long suckling until weaning at 13 weeks was, however, unprofitable.

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Abstract

This report deals with results of a survey to 60 farming households in the three villages Magoda, Kichiwa and Ibumila in the Njombe region of Tanzania, about 700 km from Dar es Salaam. The farmers were selected among those that came forward at village meetings and the survey is not representative for farming households in the region. However, it may represent farmers interested in developing their farms and looking for better ways to do farming in the area.

Abstract

The study aims to estimate the effects on the sheep farm economy of reducing grazing levels necessitated due to possible overgrazing by sheep on two important mountainous range pastures in southwest Norway. The pasture range in Setesdal Vesthei is grazed by sheep from distant farms located at Jæren (south of Stavanger), while south-western Hardangervidda is grazed by sheep from local farms and distant farms located along the coast. Farmers utilizing the pasture areas combine sheep with dairy cows, off farm work or businesses, while the local farms combine it with orchards. A Linear Programming (LP) model for specialized sheep farms based on farm records has been developed to study effects of reaching various grazing capacity levels. Reducing the number of sheep in Setesdal Vesthei by 10 percent would lower farm income per breeding stock animal with € 15 to € 119 and with € 35 to € 211 for Hardangervidda. The decrease in annual income will range from € 15,00 to € 119,00 in total for the farms using Setesdal Vesthei. The economic effects depend much on meat production per ewe. Replacing unilateral sheep grazing with a mixed system involving suckling goats and heifers is discussed to deal with the problems of encroachment and increasing elevation of the alpine tree-line.

Abstract

The study aims to estimate the effects on the sheep farm economy of reducing grazing levels necessitated due to possible overgrazing by sheep on two important mountainous range pastures in southwest Norway. The pasture range in Setesdal Vesthei is grazed by sheep from distant farms located at Jæren (south of Stavanger), while south-western Hardangervidda is grazed by sheep from local farms and distant farms located along the coast. Farmers utilizing the pasture areas combine sheep with dairy cows, off farm work or businesses, while the local farms combine it with orchards. A Linear Programming (LP) model for specialized sheep farms based on farm records has been developed to study effects of reaching various grazing capacity levels. Reducing the number of sheep in Setesdal Vesthei by 10 percent would lower farm income per breeding stock animal with € 15 to € 119 and with € 35 to € 211 for Hardangervidda. The decrease in annual income will range from € 15,00 to € 119,00 in total for the farms using Setesdal Vesthei. The economic effects depend much on meat production per ewe. Replacing unilateral sheep grazing with a mixed system involving suckling goats and heifers is discussed to deal with the problems of encroachment and increasing elevation of the alpine tree-line.

Abstract

The paper analyses and discusses possible impacts on Norwegian agriculture of an EU membership based on the regionalized agricultural sector model CAPRI. Norwegian agriculture is characterized by a small-scale farming structure and high levels of support. Previous analyses have shown that Norwegian agriculture is expected to undergo dramatic changes because of EU membership in terms of farm income, production and structural change. Our study indicates that a substantial share of the agricultural production can be maintained at the national level. Milk and crop production may remain largely unaffected, while meat production decreases in the range of 10–20% compared to a reference run without membership. However, a reduction in total farm income by about 40% indicates that structural adjustments will follow EU accession. The results are discussed in view of the pattern of adjustments observed in Finland and Austria after EU accession in 1995. The need for the dairy industry to take advantage of the improved market access is stressed. Attention is also called to some strengths and limitations of the CAPRI model to analyse large-scale policy changes and to identify model improvements as an area of future research.

Abstract

Economic externalities of mitigating measures to reduce sheep losses to carnivores are not sufficiently addressed in Norwegian nature management. Evaluating such measures involves a "scale” problem: outfield (i.e. open range) grazing sheep have quite small home ranges, large carnivores from hundred to several thousand km2. Because these ranges are a different order of magnitude, exposure to mitigating measures taken in any sheep home range area might influence predatory behaviour outside that area. These external effects impact on society, the environment and other farmers and could outweigh any advantages. Scale consideration is of crucial importance in designing field research projects to explore such issues.

Abstract

Sheep and goat farming systems in this part of Europe are based on extensive use of non-fertilised natural pastures and a long barn-feeding period. One million ewes are kept for the production of meat and wool while 60,000 goats are kept mainly for themilk. The local demand for organic meat and milk is increasing gradually and 10 percent of the agricultural area is projected to be managed according to organic principles by 2010. This paper discusses the feasibility of introducing cashmere goats in an organic sheep farming production system, based on economical calculations in a Linear Programming model. Significant movements from sheep to cashmere goats production are entirely as slaughtering of eight months old kids (11 kg) is unprofitable, assuming equal labour input of goats and sheep. Yields of meat and cashmere could be improved by feeding the kids until 20 months (19 kg) so possibly making goats as profitable as sheep. The benefits of high value cashmere production and controlling bush encroachment by goats favour a mixed farming system. If yield-levels of roughage can be maintained at 75% without artificial fertilizers and challenges in housing of small ruminants are solved, a shift away from conventional farming is profitable given the current support for organic farming.

Abstract

This report looks at the special measures for agriculture within the field of taxation and social security. Chapter 1 and 2 deal with general overview of taxes and taxation principles. Chapter 3 give more detailed information of the tax system in the selected countries, US, Canada, Australia, Germany, UK, France, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland. Chapter four deals with notifications to the Committee on Agriculture in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concerning tax measures. In chapter 5 we have tried to systematize the different tax schemes in the selected countries.

Abstract

The study examines the economics of combined milk and meat production as an alternative to the current specialised milk production on Norwegian goat. The reasons for the study are 1) to increase goat farm incomes,2) to improve the annual distribution pattern of goat milk and 3) to reduce negative publicity of farmers killing surplus goat kids just after birth. The most promising management practice would be to change the time of kidding from February to late April or May, combined with suckling the kids during the daytime until August. The kids are to be slaughtered in August in order to utilise the summer grazing period and market the kids the month before start of the lamb slaughter season. While the kids are being suckled, the does are milked once per day and after weaning the does are milked twice a day, thereby increasing milk deliveries during autumn and winter when milk prices are higher. A discussion of how the natural conditions and the Norwegian agricultural policy contribute to the results increases the value of the study.

Abstract

The seasonal variations in volume of the milk in Norwegian goat dairyfarming, complicate production of brand goat cheeses. In the specialised goat dairy farming system most kids are culled shortly after birth without utilising the meat. In this paper the farm economics of an alternative system with altered period of kidding (currently in theperiod from January to March) combined with production of meat and cashmere fibre, is examined. May kidding combined with raising the kids for 8 or 20 months yielded the m ost promising economical return. Raising the kids one year is also profitable when kidding takes place in February while December kidding seems to perform best with thepresent system of culling the kids right after birth. Cashmere fibre production seems to be profitable on Norwegian dairy goat farms and fibre and meat could become an optio n in countries seeking to improve incomes on dairy goat farms. Compared to the present system the changes also would be favourable from an animal welfare point of view.