Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, CH-8046 Zurich

Attitudes to strategies of high-output and full-time grazing

Two focus group discussions were conducted with milk producers about their motives and attitudes to both “high output” and “full-time grazing” feeding strategies and analyzed through grounded theory qualitative method. The study was designed to determine the factors which guide farm managers in their choice of feeding strategy. Although the analysis gives an insight of the strategies, motives and attitudes of the farm managers involved, results cannot be generalized. Considerable differences appeared at farm strategy level as well as in aims and values. The two feeding strategies are representative of two fundamentally different production philosophies which, in the view of the farmers interviewed, focus on the quantity of milk produced (high output) on the one hand, and ecologically efficient production (full-time grazing) on the other. Whereas the high-output group sees itself as modern businessmen and is committed to market-oriented milk production, environment and common welfare are more important for the full-time grazing group.

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