Small production facilities and a high-cost environment continue to pile pressure on Swiss dairy farms. The aim of this study was to analyse the production costs (full costs) and earned income of 562 Swiss dairy farms in the valley zone (VZ), hill region (HR) and mountain region (MR) for the years 2011 to 2015. The impact of marketed milk quantity on production costs and on profit or loss was modelled by fitting a loess curve of the VZ farms. In addition, multiple regression was used to test the influence of different factors on earned income. On average, the VZ, HR and MR had net production costs per kg marketed milk of CHF 0.98, 1.19 and 1.66 respectively. Dairy farms in the VZ, HR and MR achieved average earned incomes per working hour of CHF 16.8, 15.3 and 12.0, respectively. Agricultural income from dairy farming was 9 % lower in the HR and 22 % lower in the MR than in the VR. In the VZ, full-grazing farms with seasonal calving had production costs of CHF 0.89 per kg marketed milk and an earned income per working hour of CHF 30.2. The agricultural income achieved by full-grazing dairy farms was 63 % higher than average income in the VZ. An increase in marketed quantity of milk to 250 t per year caused a significant decrease in production costs and losses, as well as increasing profits accordingly. Milk price, marketed quantity of milk and share in pasture had a significant impact on earned income. The full-grazing strategy generated an above-average income. For this strategy, pasturable land that is sufficiently close to the dairy farms is needed.
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.