Swiss College of Agriculture, Zollikofen

Project Opti-Milk: economic results

In the framework of the project Opti-Milk two groups of nine pioneer farms each were coached on different ways towards the common goal of a sustainable and competitive dairy production. The two groups followed different strategies: the high yield strategy (HL) and the low cost strategy (VW). At the start of the project, the pioneer farms hardly differed from a group of reference Swiss dairy farms, apart from the concentrate costs on the VW-farms and the milk quota on the HL-farms. An analysis of European top dairy farms indicates that farms successfully implementing the HL or the VW strategy achieve above average economic results. VW farms achieve high incomes with considerably lower quantities of milk than HL-farms. The Opti-Milk HL-farms have chosen a clear growth approach too. Nevertheless, the realisation of economies of scales is impeded by high growth costs and neutralised by sinking product prices. On the VW farms the effect of the clear-cut cost is retarded because existing infrastructure can often not be liquidated immediately. Nevertheless, a considerably decrease in labour demand can be observed.

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