Swiss College of Agriculture, Zollikofen

Efficiency: the key to profitable dairying

For profitable dairying, efficient high yielding dairy cows are needed. They can be characterised by a high feed conversion efficiency of over 1.2 kg energy corrected milk per kilogram annual dry matter consumption, by a low age at first calving and a long productive heard life. The annual milk yield is not a sufficient efficiency indicator, because it is strongly effected by the life weight of the cows and the production system. The feed costs are a crucial factor for profitable dairying. Under Swiss conditions, grazing is much more cost-efficient than conserved roughage and concentrate. Full grazing allows a high productivity per unit surface, which can be comparable to that of farms following a high yield strategy.

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