Results from experiments on the potential of rarely employed animal feeds are presented. Oilseeds are suitable when fed to growing ruminants in order to modify the product quality (especially the shelf life of the meat) and to reduce methane emission. The oilseeds investigated (canola, sunflower, flax) had a slightly different effect. Sunflower seed, although particularly efficient in the variables described, seems to have a lower energy content than expected. In the second part the potential of feed for fattening pigs rich in dietary fiber with medium to high energy content are described. Accordingly, a moderate use of for instance beet pulp results – at relatively unaffected growth rate, carcass and meat quality – in reductions of fat tissue cholesterol and of the inclination of manure to emit ammonia during storage. An extended list of suitable commercially available feeds rich in dietary fiber is provided. Increased attention to these types of desired side-effects in diet formulation is recommended.
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.