Beef production from pasture leys is foreseen as a possible alternative to cropping and dairying in the Swiss lowlands. New varieties of tall fescue are described as adequate for grazing in dry conditions. Experiments were conducted in four sites from 2007 to 2009 comparing two grass-clover mixtures (dominant grass: SM 460 = perennial ryegrass; SM 462 = tall fescue variety Belfine) grazed by young cattle. Regarding grass growth and organic matter digestibility, no differences could be measured between both mixtures during the first two years characterised by regular rainfall. Under dry conditions in 2009, SM 462 showed the best yielding capacity. In addition to its good summer growth, tall fescue appeared well adapted to grazing with beef cattle.
Pontiggia A., Münger A., Ammer S., Philipona C., Bruckmaier R. M., Keil N.M., Dohme-Meier F.
Even in temperate climate zones, an increase in the ambient temperature and solar radiation can cause heat stress in grazing dairy cows. Agroscope studied the physiological changes in cows caused by increasing heat load.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Heimo D., Seifert S., Camarinha-Silva A., Borda-Molina D., Zähner M., Schrade S., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
In dairy cows, herbage-based diets often lead to increased nitrogen excretion. Tanniferous sainfoin and extract of acacia can reduce nitrogen excretion from urine and thus ammonia volatilization from slurry.
Excessive nitrogen inputs from the air lead to over-fertilisation of sensitive ecosystems. Continuous feeding optimisation can make an important contribution to reducing ammonia losses and thus nitrogen inputs.