Ecological and socio-economic implications of livestock-keeping systems on extensive grasslands in south-western Germany.
Germany is generally characterized by intensive agriculture. There is increasing concern about the situation of extensively used meadows and pastures in mountainous areas. Among the most attractive regions are the common grazings in the southern part of the Black Forest and limestone grassland grazed by sheep on the Swabian Jura. Both regions are located in the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Details of the current agricultural situation, developments to be expected in the years to come, policy measures needed to preserve the cultural and ecological richness of the regions, and options for land-use-systems are discussed in relation to one another, for Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) in the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The prospects for the continued sustainability and economic feasibility of extensive livestock farming in these high nature value regions are considered.