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Pyrénées Sheep Milk Industry Adapts to Climate Change Challenges

France 02.04.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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The Sheep Milk Interprofessional Organization in Pyrénées-Atlantiques, as part of a collaborative effort with partners from France and Spain, is actively strategizing to address the impacts of climate change on local farms.
Pyrénées Sheep Milk Industry Adapts to Climate Change Challenges
freepk.com
Sheep dairy farmers in Pyrénées-Atlantiques are witnessing firsthand the effects of climate change, with noticeable increases in both droughts and heavy rainfall. These shifts directly affect the availability and quality of forage stocks, leading to reduced pasture grass yields.

Moreover, rising temperatures, now occurring earlier in spring and persisting through fall, are directly affecting milk and cheese quality. This trend necessitates increased refrigeration during production, consequently driving up operational costs.

Charting Adaptation Paths
In response, the Sheep Milk Interprofessional Organization of Pyrénées-Atlantiques is spearheading a three-year initiative dubbed "Know N Cheese." This project, coordinated by the Leartiker research center in the southern Basque Country alongside five other technical entities from France and Spain, including the Livestock Institute for France, aims to unite all relevant stakeholders—farmers, technicians, and businesses—to collaboratively devise strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Engagement of Pyrénées-Atlantiques Farmers
The overarching goal of the "Know N Cheese" endeavor is to raise awareness among local farmers about climate change and to develop localized adaptation strategies tailored to future climatic conditions. Leveraging insights from research and development endeavors across various regions and sectors, six groups of motivated farmers will convene throughout the sheep farming regions of the department starting in spring 2024. These groups will work in tandem to engineer environmentally sustainable and economically viable solutions suitable for their respective contexts.

To ensure widespread participation, all sheep milk farmers in the department will receive detailed correspondence outlining the initiative and extending invitations to engage in forthcoming meetings commencing in mid-April.
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