Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART, CH-8356 Ettenhausen

Which cow for pasture-based production systems?: Economic evaluation

Which cow for pasture-based production systems?: Economic evaluation The objective of the study was to compare, within pasture-based seasonal-calving systems, the economic performance of different types of cows. A herd simulation based on the results of the project «Which cow for pasture-based production systems?» was undertaken. There were no clear advantages of one cow type over the others. The model calculation could, however, show that high milk production per hectare or – with a component-based payment scheme – production of fat and protein per hectare represented an important success factor. High production per hectare could be achieved with high individual production or with low bodyweight of the cow and an associated increase in cow numbers. Other cow-type-related differences were found in the meat and reproduction performances. Reproduction is essential for seasonalcalving pasture-based milk production systems, but its impact on working hours could not be taken into account in our results. The acquisition of solid basic data about different cow types in different production systems should therefore be continued in order to evaluate further influencing factors – not only in terms of cost-effectiveness, but also regarding further aspects of sustainability like ecology or workload.

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