Swiss milk producers must drastically reduce their production costs. To achieve this, they need user-orientated practical recommendations and planning aids. At present the high yield strategy (HL) and the full grazing or low-cost strategy appear most promising. In the framework of the project “Opti-Milk”, each of these two strategies was consistently optimised and implemented on nine pilot farms. The farms were then studied in detail for two and a halve years. Apart from the high milk quota of the HL farms, the average structure of the pilot farm groups was well comparable with that of a group of representative farms. The initial average milk yield was ca 6000 kg for the VW-farms and ca 8000 kg for the HL farms. During the project it increased by about 900 kg for the HL farms. On the VW farms it decrease slightly due to change to seasonal calving in early spring. This publication presents general information about the project. Detailed results will be presented in a series of further publications and used to work out recommendations and planning aids
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.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Eggerschwiler L., Borda-Molina D., Seifert J., Camarinha-Silva A., Schrade S., Zähner M., Zeyer K., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
Tannin-containing feedstuffs like Acacia mearnsii and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) have a measurable impact in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows. However, since these feedstuffs in some cases lead to productivity losses, careful consideration must be given to their use.