Silage preparation is an important feed-conservation method in the mountain area of Switzerland. To determine the ensilability of various typical plant populations in the mountain area, four plant populations were investigated on a laboratory scale, and grass silages from 31 commercial farms from the Ybrig-Einsiedeln mountain region were collected and analysed. According to the fermentability coefficients from the green-forage samples, the four plant populations investigated proved to have good ensiling properties. There were, however, differences in silage quality, with a high proportion of herbs not proving disadvantageous for the production of a high-quality silage. The quality of the silages from the commercial farms varied dramatically. In addition to very good silages, there were also silages of poor and very poor quality. This was primarily attributable to the increased butyric acid content, which was partly the result of the earthy impurities. On average, the silages reached an NEL content of 5.5 MJ per kg dry matter (DM). The main reason for these low values were high fibre contents attributable to a late utilisation stage.
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.