Jean-Michel Honoré, an organic farmer for 15 years in La Manche, is a happy farmer

Jean-Michel Honoré, an organic farmer for 15 years in La Manche, is a happy farmer

The prefect (right) went to the fields to talk about agriculture with his partners from the Confédération paysanne. (© Gilles PATRY/La Presse de la Manche)

At the invitation of the company peasant confederation, Prefect Frederic Perissat he gave up, this Tuesday, September 20, 2022 afternoon, on a Chefresne Dairy Farm (transferred municipality Percy in NormandySleeve).

In jeans and a sweater public prosecutor visited the Salmonière farm. “When he arrived at the department, we offered him to meet us in the field to show him what peasant agriculture is, that it works and that it can make peasants happy,” summarizes Pierre Aubril, the door word of the agricultural union. .

Since 2007 in the channel

On the program is a visit to the facilities and the cows grazing in the green meadows of Percy-en-Normandie, March to December. “My cows eat only grass”, emphasizes Jean-Michel Honoré, at the head of the 40 ha farm with 60 animals, including 29 dairy cows. Before becoming an operator, he obtained a biological license ecological farmer in Sarth. “I’ve always been drawn to nature; my concern was environment. »

In 2007, he moved to the English Channel by renting agricultural land, which he still operates under this tenant status.

“The grass is greener here than elsewhere. I don’t have a production goal. Each of my cows gives me 4,000 to 4,500 liters of milk per year, and I am self-sufficient in feed. »

Jean-Michel Honore

A little less this year with drought. “I had a 15% drop in milk production over the summer but my cows didn’t suffer despite the grass being of poorer quality and my animals finding shade in the 11km of hedgerows on my operation. »

“Unfair Competition”

Organic also pays less inflationary context where consumers turn to cheaper products. However, he does not complain about the situation. Issued by a net income 27,000 to 30,000 euros per yearwithout bonuses, for a turnover of €70,000.

Jean-Michel Honoré is one of those happy farmers who nevertheless report “unfair competition” between breeders. “Compared to my neighbors, I have half the premiums. This difference in treatment between organic farming and conventional farming is one of the subjects of the farmers’ confederation’s claim:

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“Peasant agriculture should be supported as much, or even more, because it respects the environment than productivist or industrial agriculture. »

Pierre Aubril

The visit to the Salmonière farm took place in a relaxed atmosphere, the prefect took the time to listen to his partners and ask him questions about the way the farm works.

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