Swiss College of Agriculture, Zollikofen

Project Opti-Milk: Aims and basic information

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

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