The research aimed to evaluate the performance (in terms of energy) of livestock farms located in a Mediterranean mountain area and characterized by different stocking rates. Farm data were collected from in-person interviews of farmers of 58 farms representative of the livestock farms of the Madonie and Nebrodi mountains area (Sicily, Italy), including several parameters related to farm characteristics, animal, crop and pasture management. The farm parameters were used to calculate input and output energy values from which agroecosystem performance indicators were derived. Increasing stocking rate corresponded to a more than proportional increase in total inputs per unit area because of a greater farm dependence on external energy sources derived from agriculture (mainly for concentrate feed) and to a lower energy use efficiency. The indicator of dependence on non-renewable energy sources was, on average, very low irrespective of stocking rate. As stocking rate increased the farm autonomy indicator fell and the immediate removal indicator increased. Overall, the best agroecosystem performance in terms of energy was found on farms with lower stocking rates, higher proportions of permanent pastures to total farm area, and longer periods of exclusive grazing.
|Numero di pagine||3|
|Rivista||Italian Journal of Animal Science|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2009|
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