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.
Although milk-production oriented (MPO) cow breeds have also become established in the mountain region, farms with the dual-purpose ‘Original Simmental’ breed are proving to be economically viable, with lower costs and higher direct payments making up for lower revenues from milk.
High milk yields before drying-off increase the risk of udder infections during the dry period. An online survey highlights what drying-off methods are currently used and how farmers rate the ‘incomplete milking’ approach for reducing milk yield.
Herholz C., Siegwart J., Bruckmaier R.M., Rytz E., Lamon I., Muhr M. und Stirnimann R.
In both sport and alternative agriculture, horses are once again being used as draught animals. Efficient power transmission plays an important role in the wellbeing of draught horses.