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ERIC Number: EJ828068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1389-224X
Flexibility of Suckler Cattle Farms in the Face of Uncertainty within the Beef Industry: A Proposed Definition and an Illustration
Ingrand, Stephane; Bardey, Helene; Brossier, Jacques
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v13 n1 p39-48 Mar 2007
The aim of this study, carried out in association with beef cattle producers, was to explore the capacity of farms to adapt, from a techno-conomic point of view, to both structural changes in consumer demand for beef products and market disruptions (sudden drop in beef consumption due partly to media coverage of bovine spongiform encephalopathy [BSE] and foot-and-mouth disease in the winter 2000/2001). The aim is to help farmers and advisors to find solutions to fit farmers' management choices with their strategic objectives. The flexibility concept was adopted in order to examine how farms reacted to the winter 2000/2001 crisis, and was based on several technical, economic and sociological surveys. A series of variables was proposed and several hypotheses were formulated regarding their impact on farm flexibility. Four types of farm strategy were identified using different combinations of the degree of importance of these variables, with technical, economic and marketing flexibilities specific to each type. The results revealed the different combinations of flexibility-types possible (technical, economic, marketing) and explain why cattle farmers reacted as they did. Analysis of farm flexibility also revealed situations where these technical, economic and marketing flexibilities were either complementary or incompatible. For traditional livestock farmers, high flexibility (technical and economic) allowed them to minimize the impact of the crisis on their systems. In other cases, low flexibility either resulted in inertia, or led farmers to react by seeking solutions outside the cattle farming system. Development groups should take into account these parameters when interacting with farmers. We propose a framework to qualify the use of information resources by farmers, relative to their flexibility. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.) ["Flexibility of Suckler Cattle Farms in the Face of Uncertainty within the Beef Industry: A Proposed Definition and an Illustration" was written with B. Dedieu, B. Degrange, B. Lemery and P. Pasdermadjian.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France