An advisory method developed in France was adapted for the application in Canton Jura and Bernese Jura to improve the profitability of dairy farms. Using this newly developed advisory instrument, an interdisciplinary team aimed to offer comprehensive consultancy. Data from 64 dairy farms was collected regarding environmental factors, management practices and related economic performance. Multivariate statistical analyses were performed to identify those factors most important for the operating profit. These analyses indicated that profitability with both hay and silage is significantly influenced by the quantity of milk produced from roughage. On the basis of these results, a classification scheme was developed with which specific optimisations respecting dependencies on environmental factors and management practices can be derived and their consequences for economic results estimated.
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.