Agriculture struggles to survive in marginal regions, primarily due to the difficult production conditions and higher production costs compared to those in the lowlands. Over the last few years, the decline in dairy production has gone hand-in-hand with a further reduction in summering livestock numbers. The forest is gaining ground, especially in the Alpine arc. Areas that are underexploited or simply abandoned are invaded by scrub, and become progressively closed off. Our projects aim to combine beef production in the mountain region with landscape conservation. In future, pasture farming will increasingly depend on the innovativeness of stock breeders, good management practices, and the production/marketing of high-value-added products.
In various projects, we develop:
- Production and landscape-conservation options offered by mixed grazing (joint use of the land by several different animal species)
- Strategies for combining cost-efficient meat production in the mountain region and in the summer grazing areas with landscape conservation
- Methods for assessing forage quality on low-input pastures
- A knowledge of the relationship between herds and vegetation.