Between 1996 and 1998 we investigated the influence of a bio-dynamic, a bio-organic and a conventional farming system on grass silage quality. For all treatments the same grass-clover-mixture was sown at the same place, the plots were fertilized differently depending on the farming system. Two different fertilizer levels per system were applied. The plots were cut five times a year at the same date. For the ensiling trials the forage was pre-wilted to an average DM-content of 27 % and ensiled in laboratory silos. During the three years the botanical composition of the ley has changed. In the first year perennial ryegrass and white clover were the main plants and in the third year, it was cocksfoot which dominated. Their proportion was influenced by the amount of N-fertilizer. The different fertilizer levels of the farming systems influenced the botanical composition and the nutrient contents of the grass as well as the fermentation quality. In the bio-organic and in the conventional system the variants with the higher fertilizer level showed a worse fermentation quality than the lower level. On the other hand the fertilizer level did not influence the silage quality in the bio-dynamic system. The differences concerning the fermentation quality between the three years and the different growths were higher than the differences between the different farming systems.
Livestock can convert grassland and by-products into valuable food. But how many animals would Switzerland need if arable land were primarily used for food production instead of animal feed?
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Agriculture is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. Agroscope showed that for dairy cattle housing, feed composition plays a role in these emissions as well as wind and temperature.