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Swiss organic dairy farmer survey: Which path for the organic cow in the future?

Haas, Edda and Bapst, Beat (2004) Swiss organic dairy farmer survey: Which path for the organic cow in the future? In: Hovi, Malla; Sundrum, Albert and Padel, Susanne (Eds.) Organic livestock farming: potential and limitations of husbandry practice to secure animal health and welfare and food quality. Proceedings of the 2nd SAFO Workshop 25-27 March 2004, Witzenhausen, Germany. SAFO Sustaining Animal Health and Food Safety in Organic Farming. A European Commission funded Concerted Action Project, pp. 35-41.

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Summary

The survey showed a high interest of the Swiss organic dairy farmers in breeding, suggesting that there is potential to breed an adapted organic dairy cow. However, it is clear that it would be difficult to breed an “organic dairy cow” that would be suitable for all farms. The differences between farms, particularly between mountain areas and valley regions, were notable. As a result, each farm manager has to specify criteria and breeding goals essential for his or her farm and try to pursue and reach these goals with the available services. Existing tools, like the EBI, are widely considered as helpful, but have to be improved with new knowledge, and further possibilities should be developed.
The modern dairy cow for the organic sector must have a long productive lifespan, good milk yield and milk protein content, requiring little or no concentrate, and a low somatic cell count. In the future, FiBL will analyse anonymized herd book data of organic dairy farms. This should show whether the figures of the inquiry are confirmed or whether new perceptions become evident. FiBL also plan to discuss the results with representatives of breeding organizations and genetics associations as well as with interested organic dairy breeders, in order to evaluate the need of change and take action if necessary.


EPrint Type:Book chapter
Keywords:Biorinderzucht, ÖZW, ecological breeding index (EBI)
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Breeding and genetics
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal Husbandry and Breeding
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/forschung/tierhaltung/index.php, http://www.fibl.org/english/research/animal-husbandry/index.php
Deposited By: Bapst, Beat
ID Code:3168
Deposited On:26 Aug 2004
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:29
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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