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Multispecies pasture in Mediterranean zones: agro-ecological resilience of forage production subject to climatic variations

Huguenin J., Julien L., Capron J.M., Desclaux D., Lesnoff M., Crespo D.. 2017. In : Porqueddu C. (ed.), Franca A. (ed.), Lombardi G. (ed.), Molle G. (ed.), Peratoner G. (ed.), Hopkins A. (ed.). Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios. Proceedings of the 19th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation. Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers; European Grassland Federation, p. 566-569. (Grassland science in Europe, 22). Symposium of the European Grassland Federation. 19, 2017-05-07/2017-05-10, Alghero (Italie).

Since the end of the 20th century, the meteorological variability (frost, floods and drought) has increased in the Mediterranean area, reducing pasture productivity. Consequently, farmers are forced to buy forages and concentrates to secure their feeding system. 1hese purchases threaten the financial balance of their farms. The main objective of this study is to find an alternative solution to secure the feeding system for Mediterranean livestock. In Europe and northern France, studies have shown a renewed interest in multispecies grasslands. In the southern European countries, Portugal has developed these grasslands in the Alentejo region. In the French Mediterranean zone, there was no study before 2012, when we started testing our mixtures in Montpellier (France). The results show the ability of multispecies grasslands to maintain satisfactory levels of biomass and crude protein despite contrasting weather conditions.

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