In the project Opti-Milk (2000–2004), the technical feasibility of the fullgrazing strategy with seasonal calving in spring (low-cost strategy) for dairy farms on the Swiss Plateau was shown. The good economic prospects of the strategy based on budgets and predicted costs during the project could be verified with an analysis of the total costs on dairy farms from 1999 to 2010. The strategy resulted in a significant reduction in production costs per kg of milk, because the seasonal calving allowed simplifying the work and significantly improved labor productivity. At the end of the observation period, through a small increase in milk quantity, incomes were largely above the Swiss average for eight out of nine farms following the low-cost strategy. When compared with the current strategy of milk production, the low-cost strategy can be economically attractive and socially and ecologically sustainable in the lowland area of Switzerland.
Opti-Milk Project: economic efficiency of the full-grazing strategy – results from 2000 to 2010