Technification in dairy farms may reconcile habitat conservation in a brazilian savanna region
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The assessment of the relationships between farm management systems and nature conservation may help in the design of more efficient strategies to uphold economic benefits and biodiversity conservation. To our knowledge, this is the first work in Brazil to study the relationship between farm conservation status and technification level. Here, we test the hypothesis that dairy farms with higher levels of technification have a higher percentage of natural vegetation and connectivity, and that differences in environment features between farms explain their conservation status. We obtained variables related to the level of technification such as feed, milking, sanitary control and breeding management systems. We show that farmers with a higher level of technification, such as artificial insemination in cattle breeding, tended to conserve a higher percentage of natural vegetation, as well as larger farms with a higher percentage of riparian forest. The adoption of artificial insemination is associated with other technification systems such as a forage diet, milking method and frequency and sanitary control. It is also significantly related to higher milk productivity. Our novel results point to a positive effect of technification on the conservation of natural vegetation, suggesting that economic incentives and programs aimed at increasing technification in cattle breeding may increase dairy production and conservation within the study area. Our findings also show an effect of larger areas of riparian forests, which are protected by Brazilian policy, in the conservation status of dairy farms.