As part of the 2014-2017 agricultural policy, the Swiss Federal Council is proposing a contribution for grasslandbased milk and meat production in the form of the socalled «production-system contributions». With a view to the structuring of this new instrument and its future evaluation, the current situation as regards the feeding of ruminants in Switzerland is of interest. With the help of key bookkeeping figures from Agroscope’s Farm Accountancy Data Network, we are investigating the composition of the feed ration of Swiss dairy farms. The proportion of feed from grassland is lower for mixed farms than for the specialised commercial dairy farms. Organic farms, farms with a lower milk yield and farms in higher-altitude zones have a higher percentage of grass in their rations. All in all, the composition of the feed varies significantly from one farm to another, and a majority of the farms possess the necessary conditions for satisfying the requirements of the new programme for grassland-based milk and meat production.
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.
Herholz C., Siegwart J., Bruckmaier R.M., Rytz E., Lamon I., Muhr M. und Stirnimann R.
In both sport and alternative agriculture, horses are once again being used as draught animals. Efficient power transmission plays an important role in the wellbeing of draught horses.