Cattle consume 41% of the imported soybeans in Switzerland and the dairy industry alone more than a quarter, which is significantly more than pigs (29%) or poultry (26%).
These data were reported by Swiss television (SF), who cited a study by Greenpeace. Environmentalists criticize the fact that cows actually get along with grass alone, and generally do not require imported feed.
Given the environmental problems in the growing areas in South America, Greenpeace calls for a return to more grass in the diet.
The Association of Swiss Milk Producers SMP however said that these numbers have to be put into perspective. Still 75 to 80% of Swiss milk is grass produced. The use of concentrated feed in comparison with other countries is much lower.
But more and more farmers in Switzerland further replace forage such as grass or hay by concentrated feed such as grains and soy, Swiss TV said. In the last decade consumption of concentrates per cow has doubled from 420 to 800 kg per cow, according to estimates by the feed manufacturer UFA.
Thanks to concentrates cows give more milk. However, this does not mean that using concentrates is more efficient said Peter Thomet of the Swiss College of Agriculture.
Although the cow gives more milk, the farmer feeds more, but also has higher costs. "A kilo of feed is just about a kilo of milk, no matter if it comes from grass or pasture or concentrates."
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