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Joint Technology Units (UMT) involving INRA in 2019

Joint Technology Units (UMT) involving INRA in 2019

UMT SC3D: Joint Technology Unit on Sustainable Goat Systems for the Future
(Systèmes Caprins Durables De Demain)

UMT SC3D will provide new options for the goat sector to ensure farm sustainability. With the support of partners from the sector, and in a context of climate change, the development of new forage systems and the impact of diet on goat reproduction will be the key topics for this new Joint Technology Unit (UMT).

Updated on 03/20/2019
Published on 01/29/2019

chèvres au pâturage © Hugues Caillat
© Hugues Caillat

European leader in the production of goat’s milk, the French goat sector is nevertheless suffering from a lack of attractiveness (difficult working conditions and lack of profitability, etc.), but is currently seeing major regeneration. The aim of UMT SC3D, managed by the French Livestock Institute (IDELE) and INRA, is to respond to the challenges faced by the goat sector: farm sustainability and societal demands (balance between the environmental footprint and environmental services, animal welfare).

The ambition of this project is to provide breeders, and the goat sector as a whole, with the tools they require to ensure sustainable and more resilient management practices and systems. UMT SC3D will conduct studies on forage resources and on animals with the aim of designing innovative and robust management systems. This work will be based on both existing methods (Patuchev) and new tools (sensors, new technologies, big data, etc.). Global approaches will also be used to enable the exploitation of several data (obtained in experimental systems, networks of livestock farms and from modelling). The data thus collected will improve farm management while providing responses to societal demands. UMT SC3D will draw on researchers’ and engineers’ skills from IDELE and INRA, as well as from agricultural organisations (Chambers of Agriculture, milk records, the CIVAM network for rural development, agricultural training institutions), private companies (seed and feed businesses, dairies) and goat farmers involved in the REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) and FERTICAP networks.

Research topics of UMT SC3D will be organised in three thematic areas, plus one area responsible for dissemination and communication:
Area 1: Multi-performance of goat dairy systems in the future
To contribute to the development of multi-performance goat systems; i.e. which are economically viable, generate a satisfactory income and are more professionally attractive, with a low environmental impact and taking account of demands from society.

Area 2: Valorisation of plant resources in sustainable goat feed systems for the future
To determine the main factors for the adaptation of the plant resources used by goats and to redesign goat forage systems that i/take account of adaptation to climate change, ii/ improve the feed and protein independence of goat systems, iii/ limit inputs at the crop level (mineral nitrogen, plant health treatment frequency indicator), and iv/ are practical for livestock farmers in terms of workload.

Area 3: Innovative management systems to respond to sectoral challenges
Linked to evaluating the sustainability of systems under Area 1, this Area will focus on identifying, proposing and testing management systems that respond to the challenges of the goat sectoral plan for 2022; i.e. limiting chemical inputs, favouring autonomy, respecting animal welfare and improving the health safety of products. Livestock management will be studied with particular emphasis on reproduction and diet.
Area 4: Exploiting and disseminating results
A major challenge of the UMT SC3D is to transfer our results to stakeholders (farmers, advisors, trainees, teachers, research scientists). This transversal area will ensure the satisfactory dissemination of the results obtained by UMT SC3D, via meetings, newsletters, a website, publications, …

Scientific contact(s):

  • Hugues CAILLAT Experimental Unit for Forage, Environment Ruminants of Lusignan (UE1373 FERLUS), INRA - LUSIGNAN 150 route le Chêne, 86600 LUSIGNAN
Jérémie JOST, Dairy Production Department, Institut de l’élevage – bureau de Poitiers-Mignaloux Beauvoir
Associated Division(s):
Animal Physiology and Livestock Systems
Associated Centre(s):


The project has been accredited for 5 years (2019-2023).
It is being managed by the French Livestock Institute (IDELE) and INRA via two research units based in Lusignan, near Poitiers: i) Experimental Unit for Forage, Environment Ruminants of Lusignan (FERLUS) and ii) Multidisciplinary Research Unit for Grasslands and Forage Crops (P3F). -

Other INRA research units are partners with Idele

This UMT SC3D is the result of a large partnership with economic skateholders (farmers, companies, breeder associations), technical partners and agricultural education establishments.