Land Use/Beef Production Relations in the EEC with Special Reference to Land Capability

Part of the Current Topics in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science book series (CTVM, volume 5)

Abstract

Over the 1951–’55 and 1974–’76 period, there was a sizeable variation in cattle number trends ranging from an increase of 60% in northern France and the Netherlands to a decline of up to 60% in central Italy. Highest cattle densities occur in the Netherlands, Belgium and north-west France, with lowest densities in the Mediterranean zone and Scotland. The highest proportion of slaughter animals occurs in Ireland.

Land in agricultural use declined to the greatest extent in Italy, Belgium and Netherlands, while Ireland was the only country showing an increase. Meadows and grassland account for 50% of the total feed resources of the EEC, ranging from 83% in Ireland to 24% in Denmark.

The less favoured areas (Directive 268) extend over 34 million ha (36% of total UAA). Livestock production is the major farming system in these areas, where the livestock population is over 15 million LU’s (26% of total EEC). Average stocking rate is 44 LU/100 ha UAA varying from 23 LU/100 ha in Italy to 135 LU/100 ha in Belgium.

Annual maximum precipitation deficits range from 25 mm in Ireland and the Western UK to 600 mm in southern Italy. Forage yields are closely related to moisture availability. Highest pasture yields occur in Ireland, Netherlands and UK and north west France and southern Bavaria (10 000 – 15 000 DM/ha). In the Po Valley yields of up to 18 000 kg DM/ha are obtainable from maize. In the less favoured areas, forage yields range from 10 000 kg DM/ha in the best parts of the Central Massif to less than 800 kg in southern Italy.

Based on an analysis of soil patterns, topography, climatic characteristics and a restricted review of forage productivity, a first approximation is made towards on EEC Land Capability Map for Forage Production.

Keywords

Sugar Clay Maize Depression Europe 

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Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.An Foras TaluntaisJohnstown CastleWexfordIreland

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