In a whole-system study in lowland of Central Switzerland from 2007 to 2010 compared the performance, efficiency, land productivity and profitability of indoor-feeding (SH) dairy production with that of pasture-based feeding (VW) dairy production. In the present study the net contribution of these systems to human food protein and energy supply was analysed. Depending on the presumed human-edible fraction, the system VW produced between 6.6 until 11.2 times more human-edible protein and 3.5 to 6.6 times more human-edible energy via animal products than the animals consumed via feeds. For the group SH, these factors were clearly lower but still in a positive range (1.0 until 2.5 and 0.9 until 1.9 for protein and for energy respectively). In addition, protein quality in the animal products was considerable higher than protein quality in the potentially human-edible feed components.
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Agriculture is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. Agroscope showed that for dairy cattle housing, feed composition plays a role in these emissions as well as wind and temperature.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Eggerschwiler L., Borda-Molina D., Seifert J., Camarinha-Silva A., Schrade S., Zähner M., Zeyer K., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
Tannin-containing feedstuffs like Acacia mearnsii and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) have a measurable impact in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows. However, since these feedstuffs in some cases lead to productivity losses, careful consideration must be given to their use.