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Studies about the association of sheep breeding and fruit tree production


In orchards, fruit growers spend time, money, and sometimes chemicals, in order to manage the vegetation under the trees. On the other side, sheep breeders are frequently in search of additional forage resources, especially during summer when pastures are dry.
Association of sheep breeding and fruit growing can therefore be advantageous for both sides, and is already experimented by several farmers during winter. However, maximal benefits can be expected from this practice during spring and summer, but several trade-offs still need to be resolved.

The project ECORCE aims at bringing solutions to these issues, with focus on:

  • Preventing sheep from eating barks and branches
  • Monitoring the status of sheep towards internal parasitism
  • Evaluating the risk for copper poisoning of sheep

Economical, territorial, and reglementary aspects will also be investigated, and various scenario of sheep/orchard association will be proposed.

Financing/ Donor
  • Fondation de France / Fondation Edouard & Geneviève Buffard
Project partners
  • AgriBioDrôme
  • EPLEFPA Le Valentin
  • Communauté de Communes du Val de Drôme
  • SCOP Agroof
FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Role of FiBL

Project coordination, design and implementation of experiments, knowledge transfer

Further information
  • Trouillard M, Lèbre A, Heckendorn F, Risk of Chronic Copper Poisoning for sheep grazing in vineyards: an on-farm study [submitted]
  • Eichhorn, M., et al., Silvoarable systems in Europe–past, present and future prospects. Agroforestry systems, 2006. 67(1): p. 29-50.
  • Burgess, P.J., et al., Lessons learnt – Grazed orchards in England and Wales, A. Pantera, Editor. 2017, AGFORWARD - Agroforestry for Europe.
  • SSBA, Two Crops from One Acre - A comprehensive guide to using Shopshire Sheep for grazing tree plantations. 2017, Shropshire Sheep Breeders' Association. p. 1-48.
  • Béral, C., et al., PARASOL: Agroforesterie en système d’élevage ovin - étude de son potentiel dans le cadre de l’adaptation au changement climatique. 2018. p. 1-158.
Research area
  • FiBL France (France)
FiBL project number 70028
Date modified 02.12.2020