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Theoretical and empirical studies on farming systems in Spain and Poland

   Theoretical and empirical


Edited by


Wiesław Mądry1

Jose Maria Castel2

Marcin Ollik1

Barbara Roszkowska-Mądra3


    • Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Department of Experimental Design
      and Bioinformatics, Warsaw, Poland
    • Área de Producción Animal, ETSIA, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
    • University of Bialystok, Unit of Business, Bialystok, Poland


Ruminant production systems in Spain: Sustainability analysis

Castel, J.M.1, Mena, Y.1, Ruiz, F.A.2, Morales, E.3


1 Área de Producción Animal, ETSIA, Universidad de Sevilla, Ctra. Utrera km.1, 41013, Seville, Spain

2 IFAPA Centro “Camino de Purchil”, Área de Economía y Sociología Agrarias, Apdo. 2027, 18080 Granada, Spain

3 COAG-Andalucía, Avda. Reino Unido 1, 41012 Seville, Spain



The aim of this paper is to show the evolution of Spanish ruminant production and future prospects. Spanish rangelands cover 18.440 thousand ha, 36.4% of the total Spanish surface area. However, Spanish livestock production is practised through intensive systems (pig meat and beef production, poultry production and dairy production, especially cows and ewes). Spanish rangelands are mainly used by beef cattle and meat-purpose sheep and goats. In Spain 9 main Geographical Zones (GZS) can be identified; the Northwest and North Zone, which corresponds to “Wet Spain”, and the Southwest and West of Spain endowed with abundant grasslands. The Spanish dairy cattle production, in general is becoming rapidly modernized, although in Spain milk production is making a loss. The main problem in this sector is the low price of milk, which moreover is greatly influenced by large agro food companies.  The Spanish dairy sheep production has been highly developed in the last decade by introducing the Assaf breed into intensive farming systems. The Manchego cheese (made from sheep milk) is the most important Spanish “Controlled Designation of Origin”, and represents 90% of Spanish cheese exports. More than 50% of Spanish goat milk is produced in Andalusia, but only 10% of the milk is processed there. In the sheep and goat meat sectors of Spain most of ruminant farms have abandoned their activity, even after the decoupling of EU aid. The sheep meat sector is currently quite well structured through cooperatives and there are several “Protected Geographical Indications”. Finally, in Spain a well-accepted type of cattle, aged 12-14 months, is produced intensively but the viability of this type of production depends essentially on the evolution of animal food prices, as with all types of ruminant production, which also depend on the trade regulations in the EU. In ruminant grazing systems, the evolution of production also depends on the appreciation of benefits (externalities) by the EU and society in general. Other factors, more farmer-dependent, are related to the structuring of each sector and the promotion of quality products. Diversification of farmer activities is another issue to be considered in an effort to reach farm viability.


Grazing at the protected areas: examples from Polish national parks


Chodkiewicz A.


Warsaw University of Life Science -SGGW, Faculty of Agriculture and Biology, Department of Agronomy, Poland



Grassland communities in Poland require active protection due to their anthropogenic origin. There are 23 National Parks (NP) in Poland which together cover 1% of the country. Succession is remarkable problem at the national parks with high proportional cover by wetlands. Extensive grazing is a crucial factor which decides about biodiversity in the landscape. At the most of protected areas in Poland cattle and horses are used whereas - in the mountainous region – sheep mainly. These species visibly differ in the way of their preferences for taking various plants and in height of the cut made. Very useful are native breeds like Konik horses or Polish Red Cattle, which are well-adapted to difficult environmental conditions. Grazing at the protected areas, except restoring and maintaining nature values of grasslands also has cultural meaning in order to ensure local tradition continuity.


Grassland management systems in Poland


Stypiński P.


Warsaw University of Life Science-SGGW, Faculty of Agriculture and Biology, Department of Agronomy, Poland




This work shows achievements and new tendencies in grasslands management with reference to the past and present situation. Grassland area has recently decreased but it has been observed first of all in pastures case. Grazing seems not as important for animal feeding (especially dairy cows ) as before and grasslands are turned to arable land. The problem of natural succession and lack of utilization causes that about 20 % of permanent grasslands are not harvested for forage production. Hay is still dominated form of forage conservation, silage making starts to be more popular but that system has been adopted mostly in large farms. Grassland yields are about 4 tonnes of dm per ha which means it is below expectations and productivity potential. Grasslands in Poland are treated not only as a source of food for domestic animals but as an important part of landscape and environmental friendly policy. It is probably a challenge for grass farmers in future but some new management systems should be established for different purposes.




A mitigation of greenhouse gases emission in cropland management




Wójcik-Gront E.


Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Department of Experimental Design and Bioinformatics





The global temperature is expected to increase even 5°C till the end of this century. Anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases is mostly responsible for this situation. It is very important to search for ways to mitigate the global climate change. Agriculture is a major emitter of greenhouse gases, especially nitrous oxide and methane but there are agricultural practices which may mitigate GHG emission. One of them is improved cropland management. The aim of this paper, is the attempt to assess global warming potential in different cropping systems based on collected references. The three systems considered here are, conventional tillage system, reduced or no-till system and organic system. The assessment is based on measured and calculated carbon sequestration potential, methane flux, nitrous oxide flux and energy consumption in these systems.




Technical-economic analysis in livestock farms: a tool to attain variability



Ruiz, F.A.1, Castel, J.M.2, Mena, Y.2






1 IFAPA Centro “Camino de Purchil”, Área de Economía y Sociología Agrarias, Apdo. 2027, 18080 Granada, Spain

2 Área de Producción Animal, ETSIA, Universidad de Sevilla, Ctra. Utrera km.1, 41013, Seville, Spain




The main aim of this paper is to show the usefulness of Technical-Economic Analysis in decision-making of farmers, associations and government to increase the viability of farms. Characteristics that should have indicators have been defined and the main aspects of methods used for collecting field data have been presented. The necessity to have collaboration from any type of farmer association has been underlined. Experiences using Technical-Economic Analysis in livestock farms at local, regional, national and international level have been reported. A process has also been described which explains how to go about putting a Technical-Economic Analysis method into practice within a given area; it first being necessary to characterize and classify farms according to production system types. Next, results of three papers, which concern goat grazing production systems in Andalusia (Spain), have been explained as a Technical-Economic Analysis pattern used in livestock production systems. Finally, uses of indicators in assessing the sustainability of livestock production systems have been presented.

Key words: indicator, monitoring, on-farm assessment, decision-making, sustainability






Current state and prospects for development of organic farming in Poland

Kucińska K., Golba J., Brzezina N.




Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture and Biology,

Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW, Poland




The popularity and prevalence of organic farming in Poland is lower than the average in the European Union Member States, despite that fact that this type of farming is rapidly developing in the European Union. It is only in the year 2005 that the total area of agricultural land has exceeded 1%. The studies on this type of agricultural system have shown that the fundamental problems impeding the dynamic development are as follows: low consumer awareness, lack of efficient national and international distribution of organic products and high prices charged for organic products. Polish legal regulations which have been in force before and after joining the European Union, however, do not constitute barriers to the agricultural system.






Biodiversity and crop diversity: its assessment and importance in different scales of sustainable farming systems

Ollik M.

Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Department of Experimental Design and Bioinformatics




A biodiversity decilne is a one of most important problems of present word. The paper is divided by trhree parts. The first is a short description of conception of biodiversity, their division and levels of description. The second treats piositive and negative impact of agriculture on biological diversity. The last mentioins a most common biostatistical devices used to description of biodiversity on different organization levels.


Affect longevity by breeding!

What matters are the right genes!


Postler G.

(translation from German – Irmina Pelc)





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