The quality of a feedstuff is not only defined by the various nutrient contents, or by its composition in terms of raw materials, or its digestibility or its palatability, nor even by its appearance or sensory characteristics, but also by its hygienic status. This article presents a way of assessing the microbiological quality of feedstuff, as well as the history of how it became established in Europe, in particular in German-speaking countries. It describes the method used and the populations of micro-organisms present in the evolution of a feedstuff, from harvest to storage. Indicator micro-organisms act as a reference point in this assessment and orientation values were established for these indicator micro-organisms in the feedstuffs and raw materials which are used most. The article presents the results of a joint project initiated by the German Agricultural Analytic and Research Institutes (LUFA) with partners in several European countries including Switzerland.
Stable climate has an important impact on the respiratory health of horses. In a study on indoor climate quality, three different ventilation systems were tested.
Although milk-production oriented (MPO) cow breeds have also become established in the mountain region, farms with the dual-purpose ‘Original Simmental’ breed are proving to be economically viable, with lower costs and higher direct payments making up for lower revenues from milk.
High milk yields before drying-off increase the risk of udder infections during the dry period. An online survey highlights what drying-off methods are currently used and how farmers rate the ‘incomplete milking’ approach for reducing milk yield.