Institute of Agricultural Ecomonics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

Evolution of the structures in the bovine livestock farms

The possibility to trade milk quotas changed the operational structures of Swiss Dairy farms since 1999 more than in the twenty years before. Due to the simultaneous price erosion, farmers try to adapt the operational structures. These adjustments are analyzed for the years 1999 – 2002 on the basis of 131 defined farm types. These farm types differ by clime, surface size and production. The future developments of the farms are estimated by means of a heuristic average value model. Results show that milk production shifts more and more towards larger dairy farms, combined with intensified fodder cultivation. Non-dairy farms have much lower animal units per hectare; hence there production is less intensive. Beef production changes towards more suckling cows. However the reduction of dairy cows has no effect on the total level of meat production.

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