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Spring lamb or nurse cow production in Dalarna : a case study

SLU/Dept. of Agricultural Biosystems and Technology
Publication Date
  • Spring Lamb
  • Nurse Cows
  • Production


This study investigates a farm in Dalarna which includes 16 ha of farmland and 1, 7 ha of pasture. The purpose is to find out if it is possible to start an animal production in Dalarna. The study is set only to compare spring lamb production with nurse cow production. There are two buildings on the farm that can be used for this purpose. One is an old cowshed, and the other is an unused silo for silage with a roof on top. Both of the buildings are compared to every alternative in the calculations. The study shows that you have to construct as cheep as possible, and it is also very important that you use a building that doesn't need a big investment. When it comes to the different productions, it tells us that a good spring lamb season pays better than organic nurse cow production. NURSE COWS The floor in the cowshed is to be destroyed, so that new boxes for the cows to lie in can be made. Flat floors for the calves also need to be cased. The low roof makes it impossible to keep the cows in a deep straw bed. The cows get fed outside on a hard concrete surface. In the silo, light and water needs to be installed, and an area for calves to hide in needs to be made. The cows get fed in the same way as mentioned above. It is not profitable to reconstruct the cowshed, but to reconstruct the silo does make a profit. SPRING LAMBS The spring lambs doesn't need the same amount of construction investments as the nurse cows. The floor in the cowshed is to be destroyed so that a new flat floor, for a deep straw bed, can be cased. The sheep will be fed outside, in the same way as the cows. The silo will be reconstructed in a similar way as in the cow alternative. Despite of the higher profit in the lamb production, the alternative to reconstruct the cowshed is unprofitable. Although, putting them in the silo makes quite a profit. MY OWN CONCLUSIONS Even though the gross margin shows a negative figure for two of the four analyses, the total business makes a profit with some help from EU subsidies. Many of the subsidies that this farm is valid for, are not shown in the analyses.

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