Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften HAFL, 3052 Zollikofen

Economic efficiency of seasonal used mountain pasture farms in Switzerland

In the project AlpWirtschaft the application VokoAlp was developed for compiling and analyzing data and for budgetary accounting. Cost-efficiency studies for 18 typical Swiss alpine summer farming units were done for different levels (staff, farmers). Large differences in income between different alpine pasture farms were found. The larger alpine farms were more profitable with higher net incomes; both, at the level of individual farmers and of the management unit. The income generated by products (milk, cheese, butter etc.) represented approximately two-thirds of the entire income; the rest of the income came from subsidies. The more milk produced and processed per cow, the higher was the income. Simulations for two alpine pasture farms show that specializing is profitable. Using the potentials of producing and processing is very profitable. The relative competiveness of dairy production and processing in alpine pasture farms is better than in the home farms, where suckler cows, heifers or calves are kept, due to the high value added in the dairy operation in alpine summer pastures.

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