Analysis of dual purpose cattle production systems in Chiapas, Mexico
The present investigation had as objective to analyze some factors in a retrospective and current way, some of the factors that influence the development, the soil use dynamics and the productivity of dual purpose cattle in Central region of Chiapas, Mexico. The tendency of historical variables was analyzed and a total of 180 ranches were studied and classified by means of the cluster analysis. Also, the fodder and animal components were monitored in three of the representative types of ranches. The grow of human population from 1930 to 1990 increased the demand of animal and plant products, fields, bovine population and grassland areas. This brought about an important change in the pattern of soil use. Nowadays, forest areas are practically non-existent. Out of the different types of ranches identified semi-extensive, semintensive and extensive, the semi-extensive type was the most common one (76.1%); however, the semi-intensive ones had the best levels (P<0.05) of milk production per hectare (7.3 Kg cow-1 day-1) and are among the smaller (P<0.05) in total surface area (44.7 hectares). Out of the three dual purpose cattle that exist nowdays in central region of Chiapas, the semiextensive management is the most common, and as the extensive, has low productivity. The semintensive management is less frequent in the region; nevertheless, it has more productivity and is more intensive in soil use. The increase in the levels of bovine production with low external inputs could be achieved reconverting the present systems to agrosylvopastoral systems, that allow an adequate management of regional resources.