The study area is located in the Tolga municipality, which is in the North of Hedmark County. The Tolga area is one of biggest producers of sheep and is also a leading region for organic agriculture with about 20% of organic sheep farming. There is great environmental variation in the area and it can therefore be called a 'Miniature Norway'. Farms 01 to 06 are based at Tolga municipality (altitude of fields ranging from 494 to 871 m.a.s.l.), farms 07 to 11 at Os (591 to 838 m.a.s.l.) and farms 15 and 16 at Tynset (488 to 886 m.a.s.l.). Mean average monthly temperatures fall to -13.5°C in January at Tynset and rise to 12.3 °C at Tynset too. Os and Tolga's temperatures are similar to those of Tynset.
Number of farms surveyed
A total of 12 farms have been surveyed (6 conventional farms and 6 organic farms). All farms raise sheep but no one cultivate cereals.
Specialist grazing livestock
The average size of these sheep farms is 16 ha for organic farms and 13 for conventional farms, excluding summer pastures. The stocking density on the inbye land is 0.64 in CF versus 0.58 in OF. The surface of the summer pastures has been estimated to an average of 16 ha for OF versus 13ha for CF on the base of a production of 1.5 TDM/ha. But in fact the surface of the summer pastures grazed by the sheep are larger. The poor grazing summer pastures can support 0.3 - 0.5 sheep per ha, the good grazing between 0.6 to .0.7 per ha and for the very good grazing between 0.8 to 1.1 sheep per ha.