The percentage of concentrates used in the ’dairy cattle and rearing’ enterprise or production branch of organic commercial dairies is estimated on the basis of accounting data. On average this comes to 5 %, with 45 % of farms feeding less than 5 % concentrates. There are very few farms that use no concentrates at all. The percentage of concentrates in feed increases with the size of the dairy herd, and in particular with milk yield. Organic farms in the lowland region use a significantly lower percentage of concentrates than farms in the upland and mountain regions. In terms of profitability, no differences were noted for any of the three regions – lowland, upland or mountain – between farms feeding a percentage of concentrate either greater or less than 5 %.
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.