Mountain pasture areas in Switzerland are faced with a dual challenge: halting the advance of the forest, and dealing with the whey which is a by-product of alpine cheesemaking. Beef cattle could contribute to the sustainability of mountain pastures by increasing pasture pressure and reducing environmental impact through the use of the whey in situ. The aim of this article is to define the challenges being faced, to describe how the researchers have approached these challenges, and to outline the experimental conditions under which the scientific aspects of the project have been studied. These aspects will be the subject of three articles in the next issue of Agrarforschung Schweiz / Recherche Agronomique Suisse. To round out this systemic approach, an additional article will be devoted to the technical and economic aspects, and a further one to the possibility of envisaging a dedicated sector. Key words: beef cattle, production
Pontiggia A., Münger A., Ammer S., Philipona C., Bruckmaier R. M., Keil N.M., Dohme-Meier F.
Even in temperate climate zones, an increase in the ambient temperature and solar radiation can cause heat stress in grazing dairy cows. Agroscope studied the physiological changes in cows caused by increasing heat load.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Heimo D., Seifert S., Camarinha-Silva A., Borda-Molina D., Zähner M., Schrade S., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
In dairy cows, herbage-based diets often lead to increased nitrogen excretion. Tanniferous sainfoin and extract of acacia can reduce nitrogen excretion from urine and thus ammonia volatilization from slurry.
Excessive nitrogen inputs from the air lead to over-fertilisation of sensitive ecosystems. Continuous feeding optimisation can make an important contribution to reducing ammonia losses and thus nitrogen inputs.