Moving towards goat systems that use cultivated meadows

On Friday 12 April 2013 in Lusignan, Olivier Le Gall, delegate General Manager of the National Institute of Agronomic Research, and Jean-Marc Chabosseau, President of Inra Poitou-Charentes, inaugurated the Patuchev experimental facility in the presence of Philippe De Guenin, Regional Director of Food, Agriculture and Forests (Draaf) and Ségolène Royal, President of the Poitou-Charentes Region.

Inauguration du dispositif expérimental Patuchev à Lusignan. De gauche à droite : Philippe Guillouet (Inra), Ségolène Royal (Région Poitou-Charentes), Philippe De Guenin (Draaf), Olivier Le Gall et Jean-Marc Chabosseau (Inra), René Gibault (Commune de Lusignan).. © Poitou-Charentes region, Françoise Roch
By Inra Poitou-Charentes communications department
Updated on 08/29/2013
Published on 04/12/2013
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Dossier inauguration Patuchev Poitou-Charentes is the largest goat farming region in France: 34% of the dairy goat population are reared in the region and the industry processes 44% of the milk collected in France. The current economic context is characterised by historically high production costs and unpredictable milk prices.

Patuchev: an experimental facility for designing and evaluating effective and sustainable goat farming systems

The challenge for farming systems is to develop greater autonomy in order to reconcile economic and environmental performance. In this context, Inra created the experimental facility Patuchev in Lusignan to design and evaluate effective and sustainable goat farming systems. This facility, of which the purpose is to evaluate three management systems of three herds of 60 goats according to two periods of reproduction and two types of cultivated grass-based food, is in line with Inra's 2010-2020 strategic priorities and the « Agro-ecological Project for France » initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture. The experimental goat farm built for this project was financed by Inra, Europe (European Regional Development Fund), the Government (National Fund for land management and development) and the Poitou-Charentes Region. Efficient insulation, rain water recovery, treatment of sewage, optimisation of mechanization and the use of a solar collector for drying the hay reflect the environmental discipline of the project.

In partnership with the goat networks in Poitou-Charentes: Rexcap and Redcap

The Patuchev facility is a partner of the Poitou-Charentes Goat Network of Excellence  Rexcap.This network, initiated by the Region, encompasses economic stakeholders from the sector, the Region, the Counties as well as research, development and training structures. The aim is to promote regional synergy to reinforce competitiveness and boost economic activity and employment on farms and in businesses in Poitou-Charentes. In this context, Patuchev is complementary to  Redcap, a Goat experimentation and development network of 34 farms in Poitou-Charentes and Pays-de-la-Loire. The Redcap network identifies and centralizes farmers' questions and transposes them to research. The results obtained with Patuchev will then be validated on Redcap farms and transferred to private farms.

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An energy efficient building to produce quality fodder and house Inra's goats

To design and evaluate effective and sustainable goat farming systems, Inra has built an experimental energy efficient goat farm in Lusignan. The project received financial support from Europe (European Regional Development Fund), the Poitou-Charentes Region and the Government (Mélusin region Rural Centre of Excellence).

The 1 970 m² real estate investment includes a goat barn for three herds of 60 dairy goats, a milking parlour and a hay dryer (1 540 m²), a 430 m² outbuilding to store manure and straw and house the Billy goats, as well as a reed bed sewage system.

Attaining environmental excellence is at the heart of the project. The technical rooms will be insulated with high-performance insulation materials and the building will be made of wood. Rain water will be used in the staff toilets and to clean the milking parlour, a reed bed system will be used to treat the water and the manure produced will be transformed into compost. Fossil fuel efficient solutions have been explored, including the optimisation of mechanization and the use of solar power.