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.
A study by Vetsuisse shows that the outdoor veal calf concept reduces antibiotic consumption in calf fattening by 80%. AGRIDEA has examined the economic viability of outdoor veal calf production and concludes that it cannot compete with conventional veal calf fattening.
Agroscope investigated the effects on dairy cows of an all-herbage ration compared with a concentrate-supplemented ration. The study shows that an all-herbage ration is possible for suitable dairy cow types.
Fattening pigs suffer when it is hot. Timely provision of cooling measures increases both animal welfare and success in pig fattening. Researchers at Agroscope examined which indicators reliably indicate heat stress in fattening pigs.
Excess nitrogen is excreted in the urine and leads to higher ammonia emissions. Nitrogen in the urine of dairy cows can be estimated based on the urea content of their milk. This information can be used to optimise protein feeding.
A simple smartphone could soon become an essential ally for beekeepers in their battle to control the varroa mite. A mobile application for identifying and counting these tiny parasites in the hive – the first of its kind in Switzerland – has just been developed.
Swiss aquaculture is enjoying strong growth. However, in order to develop sustainably, the sector needs to be better organised. This study analyses the current situation and proposes a concept for the development of a coordination centre.
Dairy farms are responsible for a significant proportion of greenhouse gases from agriculture. In order to quantify emissions at farm level and identify suitable emissions reduction measures, HAFL researchers developed a model for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farms.
The RumiWatch system is a smart farming tool, which enables an accurate detection of eating and rumination behaviours performed by dairy cows. The aim of the researchers was to check, if the system that was already established in science for its practical usage.
The Swiss ‘Green Book’ feeding recommendations for fattening cattle are no longer suitable for today’s animals and current production conditions. An updating of datasets for system calibration is essential.
The pastures of low-productive Highland Cattle are particularly species-rich because of their relatively low weight, undemandingness and slowness. This is borne out by Agroscope and AgroVet Strickhof studies.
Livestock farming is sometimes criticised for creating competition between feed and food production. However, the animals fulfil an important function by recycling plant by-products and thus closing nutrient cycles.
100%-organic feeding of piglets has been discussed for a long time. A feeding trial on commercial farms shows that completely organic diets are suitable for piglets, and that their introduction is facilitated by a longer suckling period.
The genetic selection of hyperprolific sows has led to a rise in the number of piglets that are underweight at birth, often runtier and with stunted growth. A study tested the effect of a supplement on their development.
Digital technologies are fixed features of modern agriculture – but to what extent are they already being used in Switzerland? A survey conducted by Agroscope provides answers to this question. Digital technologies reduce the physical workload of farming and contribute to sustainable field management. They also enable optimised management decisions based on plant- or soil-related…
Digital technologies represent an opportunity for the modern management of farms. For this, already available technologies must also be utilised in practice. An Agroscope survey illustrates the status quo of technology use.
Farms operate with a balanced nutrient cycle. Agroscope adjusted the reference values for suckling calves to the latest advances in animal production. The values for feed intake and nutrient excretion are now lower.
Protecting sheep from large predators means more work and higher costs for alpine farmers. The economic consequences of the necessary adjustments were investigated in 2017 and 2018 on 13 alpine farms in the cantons of Uri and Valais.
Grassland-based milk and meat production promotes the site-specific feeding of ruminants. With the AP22+, the reduction of protein supply via concentrates is under discussion. Agroscope studied the effects of limited protein supply.
Since 2007, only free-farrowing pens may be used in Switzerland. Since then, litter size has increased significantly. Despite this, piglet mortality during the lactation period has remained stable over the years.
Alternatives to antibiotics must be found to combat antibiotic resistance in animal production. The forage plant sainfoin reduces postweaning diarrhoea in piglets, thus reducing the need for antibiotic treatment.