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TT2 Dairy Farm

Vache Holstein
© Bertrand Nicolas, INRA
Take a ride out into the French countryside to visit two French Dairy Farms.


Destination: The Derval experimental Farm and the La Jaillière experimental Farm

Schedule: 7:45 - 18:30, Friday August 30 2013

Distance: 190 km round trip to Nantes


The Derval experimental farm is located 60 km North of Nantes, halfway to Rennes. It is managed by the Chamber of Agriculture and its research is led in partnership with the Breeding Institute (l’Institut de l’Elevage). The farm is spread over a surface of 105 ha of agricultural land, including 85% fodder. The herd is principally made up of 80 Prim’Holstein cows that provide 8300 kg of milk/cow/year. The studies performed on this experimental farm mainly concern automated milking and how it is used in relation with pasturing. An analysis laboratory working on milking provides the tools necessary for specific studies on the milking machines. In fact, studies are led on the environmental impact of dairy systems with notably a follow-up of these results on the environment over a period of 10 years. This experimental farm is part of the European “Dairyman” project led by Wageningen University Research.

The La Jaillière experimental farm is an experimental farm located in the Loire Valley, 60 km East of Nantes. Managed by ARVALIS - Institut du vegetal, its research deals with arable crop sciences (cereals, maize, forages), harvest, use and conversion of these plants for feed and non-feed uses, environmental impact and economic issues. ARVALIS’ activity on this farm focuses on the complementarity between arable crops and livestock at the farm level in order to find solutions to help farmers to be self-sufficient at the farm or a defined territory scale being therefore less dependent on external input, and reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. La Jaillière has a specific experimental site on culture practices and water qualities to evaluate mineral losses from cultivated soils (grassland and fodder crops). La Jaillière experimental farm is a dairy system very representative of those found in the west of France, based on grass clover grazing mixtures. The herd is a pure dairy breed of 80 Holstein. Dairy production level is about 10 000 kg milk/cow/year. The total cultivated area is 180 ha with 150 ha dedicated to fodder production. The forage system is usually based on maize, grass clover mixtures, multi species swards for grazing and meadows. This farm designs and tests innovative mixed farming systems that use arable crop production available on the farm for livestock and take advantage of the organic matter produced.

The number of participants is limited: first registered, first served. Registration will be stopped once the maximum capacity is reached.

In case of an insufficient number of participants, the tour will be cancelled