A comparison of dairy cattle systems in an irrigated perimeter and in a suburban region: case study from Morocco

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Multivariate analyses were used to compare dairy production practices and their consequences on milk yield and profitability in cattle farms from two representative regions of Morocco. A regular follow-up of 118 farms (48 in the Rabat-Salé suburban belt and 70 in the Gharb irrigated perimeter) was undertaken to obtain accurate data. Results show significant differences between the two regions. Intensive milk production was more frequent in the suburban zone (more concentrates and better annual milk yield per cow). When conducting a “within-region” principal components analysis, farms' discrimination appeared to take into account all management variables (feeding, cattle sales, profitability), with no reference to farms' structural parameters (arable land and number of cattle). A typology of farms was then established using cluster analysis, with 4 distinct groups, namely: a) concentrates wasters, b) farms with a relatively important milk yield per cow, c) deficit dairy farms and d) beef oriented farms. The last group included almost exclusively farms from the irrigated perimeter (5 out of 7). These results indicate that dairy production promotion in Morocco requires more than just the intensification of forage production, but should focus also on improving management practices. The extension of complete and balanced dairy rations is urgently needed to enhance milk yield and profitability.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles