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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Labour in suckler cow herds - a study on enterprises in southern Sweden

Holmstrom, Kristina; Kumm, Karl-Ivar; Andersson, Hans; Hessle, Anna


This study aimed at examining labour demand in Swedish suckler cow operations grazing biodiverse semi-natural grasslands. Labour time was successfully recorded by 49 randomly selected farmers and their employees using an application in their mobile phone to register time for different labour tasks every 8th day for one year, crop production excluded. Median labour time for all herds was 17 hours/cow/year with a general lower workload per cow for large herds compared to small herds. Labour demand during the grazing period was however more dependent on the structure of pastures than herd size. The calving period was the most labour-intensive period, whereas supervision on pasture was the most time-consuming task both during the grazing period and the entire year. Large variations among herds indicates that there are often great opportunities for achieving a decreased labour time, not the least in small herds.


Labour time; work efficiency; workload; suckler cow; beef production; pasture fragmentation; >

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
2024, Volume: 73, number: 1-2, pages: 49-62