Weather variability can threaten French suckler cow farms which rely on rather extensive forage production. However, flexibility of the production system can help farmer to face crop production shocks. This study aims at assessing how crop yield shocks impact on farms outcomes when adaptive capacity is taken into account. Our objectives are to develop a dynamic model which enables us 1) to predict the optimal mix of production adjustments to face crop yield shocks, 2) to quantify how far the system moves from the equilibrium and how long it takes to return and 3) to measure impact of shocks on economic results when adaptive capacity is taken into account. An original dynamic recursive bio-economic farm model integrating detailed technical and biological constraints and coupled with biological sub-models has been built and calibrated to represent an average farm producing charolais finished animals. Crop yield shocks of intensities ranging between -60% and +60% of their average values are simulated in between average years. A preference for maintaining animal sales and animal live weight at the expense of crop products trade balance is found. Thought, when intensities of shocks get higher, forced sales and important variations of the area of pasture cut are observed. Essential of loss (or gain) of net profit is felt the year of the shock but can be remnant for several years. In addition, gains for good years do not totally compensate loss of symmetric bad ones. Consequently, farms capacity to face risk could be weaken over time. Minimum consumption needs, probability distribution of shocks and successions or combinations of shocks would have thought to be taken into account to assess real capacity of farms to maintain over time.


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