Swiss College of Agriculture, Zollikofen

Project Opti-Milk: economic planning

In the framework of the project Opti-Milk of the Swiss College of Agriculture an ambitious but realisable planning and implementation concept was individually established for two groups of nine farms each following the high yield (HL) or the full grazing (VW) strategy. Both strategies showed a considerable potential for the sustainable improvement of the competitiveness of dairy production in the Swiss lowlands. For dairy production with a cost reduction potential of 40% as well as for the family farm as a whole, the improvements in economic sustainability are impressive. The high Swiss ecological standards can be met in spite of the increasing specialisation. A socially sustainable implementation is also possible, provided that the labour reduction potential is consistently used and the interests of the family are consciously considered. The consistent but individual implementation of the VW strategy can improve the liquidity and the work load very fast. From the economic point of view, the HL strategy, which is based on strong and under present Swiss conditions expensive growth, must be considered ambitious and risky for the first decade of its implementation. On the long term, the potential for a good competitiveness, even on the European level, is good for both strategies.

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