In the project Opti-Milk (2000–2004), the technical feasibility of the highoutput 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 2011. The strategy resulted in a significant reduction in production costs per kg of milk through increasing the amount of milk and thus significantly improving labor productivity. Economies of scale also have led to a reduction in overhead costs per kg of milk. At the end of the observation period, three out of seven high-output farms had earned an income well above the Swiss average. This strategy can be economically attractive in the lowland area of Switzerland, although the heads of farms will face significant challenges, which are presented in this paper.
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.