Short sward grazing (Kurzrasenweide) with dairy cows and regional marketing of products


Grazing management at the Gatscherhof in Kiens (Puster Valley, South Tyrol, NE Italy) is a continuous variable stocking (short sward grazing, Germ: “Kurzrasenweide”) with dairy ca,le of the breed Fleckvieh (90%) and Braunvieh (10%). The total area of the farm is 15 ha, consisting of 9 ha meadow (2-3 cuts/year) and 6 ha pasture. The animals (approximately 26 LU) are grazing from the end of March until the beginning of November and are milked indoor. In this period, they do not receive any additional forage. In the winter months, they only get hay from the own meadows and cereals.

In the year 2003 a cheesery was constructed. The farmer has specialized on manufacturing different cheese types (all produced with raw milk), yoghurt and bu,er. The entire produced amount of milk of 110,000 l per year is transformed directly on the farm. The products produced are sold in local shops (50%), in the own farm shop (25%) and to the gastronomy (25%).

2004 the farmer took part at the competition “promotion of cooperation between agriculture and tourism”. This was a collaborative project of Tirol, South Tyrol, Trentino and Transkom KG. He submitted the project “regional enjoying and experiencing”, which was nominated. The goal of this project is to strengthen the collaboration between agriculture and tourism in a very short way. It gives to the customer and guests the possibility to experience the livestock farming and the processing of agricultural products. In return, the hotels and hosting companies, which are project partners, offer their guests products from the Gatscherhof.


Reason for the innovation

  • Solving problems (the need to change)
  • Curiosity in subject/technique


Farm description


  • Main soil type: sandy
  • Climate: temperate continental climate
  • Average altitude (m a.s.l.): 800
  • Average slope (%): 20

Grassland management

  • Grazing: Yes
  • Grazing management type: continuous variable stocking (short sward grazing)
  • Length of grazing period (months/year): 7
  • Number of cuts on the mown areas: max. 3 cuts/year, on some areas 2 cuts/year
  • Forage conservation type: hay
  • Average fertilisation rate: 147 kg organic N/ha
  • Average rate of bought roughage: 0%


  • Annual work unit (AWU): 2,9 (cheesery and farm shop included)
  • Agricultural area (ha UAA): 15
    • 9 ha meadow
    • 6 ha pasture

Animal performance

  • Breed name: Fleckvieh, Braunvieh
  • Total livestock unit (LU): 26
  • Average stocking rate (LU/ha): 1.7


Why it is working

  • Favourable geographic location and good accessibility in a highly frequented touristic territory
  • The farm fulfils the requirements for grazing management (size and topographic features) and uses animal breeds suitable for grazing under the given farm conditions
  • Partnership with local touristic enterprises

Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

grazing management system, marketing

Main types of animal

beef cattle



Product type

Farmer portrait


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