Auteur: Klopčič M. and Kuipers A.
Jaar van uitgifte: 2015
Producttype: Paper and slides
The aim of this article is to describe the status of the dairy sector and future development paths of the various cattle farming segments in Slovenia. Agriculture is carried out under very diverse circumstances. About 73% of agricultural land is defined as ‘less favoured areas’. The agricultural area (472,918 ha) consists of 58% of permanent grassland and 36% of arable land, mostly used for production of feed. Cattle husbandry on family farms, of which there are 7,000 dairy farms, is the most important agricultural activity. Three farming systems can be observed: summer grazing with the dual-purpose breeds in the mountains; grazing with suckler cows in the hills; and intensive dairy farming in the valleys. These farming systems were characterised on the basis of 1,346 questionnaires collected in 2007. Farmers of the local Cika breed were interested in protecting nature elements and in organic farming. Dairy farmers expressed a more economical attitude towards the farm business. Of the developing dairy farmers, more than half looked for specialisation and less than half for diversification. Management of grassland was ranked as of relatively high importance. Regular contact with some Western European institutes resulted in lowland areas receiving high N applications around the turn of the century. Land fragmentation is a huge problem. In a recent ‘life long learning’ project with Poland, Lithuania and the Netherlands, dairy farmer strategies were analysed. Of the participating 365 Slovenian dairy farmers, 40% applied grazing and the average farm had 30 separate parcels of land. Farmers in the Eastern European countries (n=1,028) were more concerned about the market and abolition of milk quota than were the farmers in the Netherlands. Farmers in Slovenia were more consumer-oriented. A challenge for Slovenia is to utilize the existing consumer orientation of farmers for direct selling or agro-business purposes, as well as a strengtening of the dairy-chain structure to gain better access to the international milk market.
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