Holistic change for brighter mouse-free future


Holistic change in order to become more self-sufficient and limit mice damage in grasslands.

Reduced mice damage is a positive side effect of new grassland mangement. It gets explained by cutting to nothing mineral fertilizers and liming, the late hay mowing, delayed manure spreading after the reproductive phase of grass and harrowing at specific moments to prevent meadows from having a root mat. All of this contributes to the good balance of meadows both qualitative and quantitative. The adoption of the Obsalim method to adapt feeding according to the symptoms and behavior of cows as well as the use of the lunar calendar are some of the practices on which the new farming system is based. This new approach to the profession with more observations has been undertaken to get autonomy on forage, finances and decision-making.


Reason for the innovation

  • After 2009 milk crisis, need to change farming system to regain autonomy.
  • Levers: Training (20 days/year), exchange and experiment with like-minded far-mers, drop inputs,
  • Brakes: first year yield loss, learning and adaptation time, need for motivation and open-mindedness
  • Success: Better income, pride, more diversity within grassland, decrease in mice population.

Farm description


  • Soil types: Volcanic, sandy loam
  • Climate: Humid continental
  • Altitude: 1000 m
  • Slope: 5%

Grassland management

  • Rotational grazing (strip) for 6 to 8 months
  • Meadows: Only hay harvested
  • 1 third late mown (natural reseeding, conservation of grass species with a range of precocity…)
  • Grass harrows to manage the species-content of meadows (aim to get a cover of 70% grass/30% clover)
  • Spread liquid manure after reproductive phase of grass
  • No mineral fertilizer or lime


  • 2 Annual Work Unit
  • Conversion to organic since 2016
  • Agricultural area: 50 ha
  • All of it is permanent grassland
  • Stocking rate: 1,2 UGB/ha

Triple performance

  • 8t DM/ha of hay with 3 cut, quality and diversity improvement of meadows (more than 40 grass species)
  • 40 milking cows
  • 6200-6500 L per cow with 1t of feed
  • Aim: 7000 L per cow with 800kg of feed
  • Set up a like-minded farmers association « Eleveurs autrement »

Why it is working

Many training course to develop new skills and knowledge
Gathering with like-minded farmers to try and experiment new things as well as get reassurance
Holistic approach to change, every new practice has impact on the existing one
Only add practice that follow the statement :

  • Improve technical and financial performance
  • Improve the farmer’s working conditions

Additional information

Farming system

organic farming

Domains of innovation

animal feeding management, farm system, forage conservation technique, forage mixture, machinery, tools

Main types of animal

dairy cattle



Product type

Farmer portrait


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