Livestock system as a mitigation measure of a wind farm in a mountain area
AbstractThe study concerns a mountain territory, bordering Liguria, Piemonte, Lombardia and Emilia, where a high power 151 MW wind farm, with 42 tower of 3.6 MW power, has been proposed. As a measure of environmental mitigation, the realization of a livestock system of a herd of sucker cows pasturing in the wind farm areas is proposed. This has implications for environmental maintenance, employment in a territory gradually losing its population, and for tourism. The study, having focused on those aspects that reduce landscape impact and carrying out an analysis of the individual areas to evaluate forage resources and the different pastoral indexes, identifies the maximum sustainable load of animals (335 UBA/ha) in the current conditions of neglect. So, some measures to improve and increase sustainable herds have been proposed and examined. The operations include: stone removal; light harrowing; overseeding; creation of fodder reserves for periods of shortage; and grazing will be managed by taking turns. Based on the results of two other studies, both previous tests carried out on site, encourage us to think that we will be able to increase the maximum sustainable seasonal load for the current situation by more than 50%. This means a herd of 500 UBA equal to a gross PLV, for the grazing period of 180 days, of 400,000 and so guarantee an adequate income to 3-4 UL (labor unit), and of 650,000/year in case the chain is completed during the winter months in structures located in the valley. In this case, the PLV obtained could assure income to 6-7 employees, which would be extremely important for the socio-economic conditions of the valley; in consideration of the induced activities- meat processing, marketing and tourism facilities- which could be made available. Experimental tests of the technical improvements described will be carried out in the next season.
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Copyright (c) 2013 Antoniotto Guidobono Cavalchini, Gabriele Daglio, Massimo Lazzari, Stefania Leonardi
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