A case study with six dairy farms shows that locally produced feed gives good results for milk yield, feed efficiency, milk composition, environmental impacts, animal welfare and, last but not least, profitability.
Cheaper feeding without reduced milk yield and an opportunity to avoid using soy in the diet. These are some of the reasons that the farmers in the case study had to focus on locally produced feed. Other reasons were to support the local community and to adopt a new challenge in the production.
Half of the farms are organic
The dairy farms in the study were not selected randomly. They should have had 10 per cent higher returns than the country's average yield and they should have used locally produced feed during the last 12 months. Additionally it was strived for an even geographic distribution in the country.
When the selection was done, it was found that the farms could be grouped in pairs with one organic and one conventional in each size group: 30–40, 70–80 and 300–500 dairy cows. It means that the results have been compared between organic and conventional production, even though it was not planned from the beginning.