The objective of the study was to compare, within pasture-based seasonal-calving systems, the production and reproduction performances of Swiss Holstein-Friesian (CH HF), Fleckvieh (CH FV) and Brown Swiss (CH BS) dairy cows with New Zealand Holstein-Friesian (NZ HF) dairy cows, taken as reference for such systems. From 2007 to 2009, NZ HF cows were paired with Swiss cows on 15 Swiss commercial farms, including in total 259 lactations from 134 cows. CH HF and NZ HF cows had better milk performance than CH FV and CH BS (50,2 and 52,1 kg ECM/kg LW0,75 versus 44,3 and 43,6 kg; P < 0,05). The CH FV cows had the best reproduction performance, tending to have more pregnant cows 6 weeks after the planned start of mating than the CH HF cows (81 % versus 46 %, P < 0,10), N cows compromised their suitability for pasturebased seasonal-calving systems. Conversely the dual-purpose CH FV were less efficient in term of milk production but seem to be suitable for these systems owing their good reproductive performance.
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Agriculture is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. Agroscope showed that for dairy cattle housing, feed composition plays a role in these emissions as well as wind and temperature.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Eggerschwiler L., Borda-Molina D., Seifert J., Camarinha-Silva A., Schrade S., Zähner M., Zeyer K., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
Tannin-containing feedstuffs like Acacia mearnsii and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) have a measurable impact in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows. However, since these feedstuffs in some cases lead to productivity losses, careful consideration must be given to their use.