Almost all of the hay produced in Switzerland is consumed domestically in the farm and only 0.007% of the forage products are exported to the other countries. These findings have been entered into the attached spreadsheet.
- In 2012, the total value of the Swiss agricultural sector's output was CHF 9.974 billion, according to the Federal Statistical Office of Switzerland.
- Out of the total CHF 9.974 billion, forage plants production contributed 10%, which equals CHF 997.4 million.
- The average annual exchange rate of CHF/USD in 2012 was 1.067 USD. Thus, Swiss forage production in 2012 was $1.064 billion. (CHF 997.4 million x 1.067 = $1.064 billion)
- According to the Trend Economy, Switzerland exported $77,000 forage products (swedes, mangolds, fodder roots, hay, lucerne) in 2012.
- By analyzing the figures that we have gathered above, we calculated that only 0.007% of the domestic hay production has been exported. (Total Export $77,000 / Total Production $1.064 billion = 0.007%)
- According to a report by the Federal Statistical Office of Switzerland, 70.9% of the utilized agricultural area is grassland and more than half of agricultural land is owned by farmers.
- A study published in 2018 indicate that farmers do need an additional source of fodder to feed their livestock. Out of 731 respondents, about 500 farmers responded that the reason they send their animals to summer farms is to access additional course of fodder. The remaining two hundred responded that the same reason is "rather important".
To determine how much of the hay produced in Switzerland is used in the farm against how much hay is sold for other uses, your research team first tried to learn if Switzerland is a net exporter or imported of hay. In this section of the research, we found that Swiss domestic hay production covers only 85% of the demand and imports the remaining 15%. Then, we confirmed the figure by calculating total hay production against the total export and learned that only 0.007% of hay is exported. (made the necessary conversions when calculating). With the figures gathered above, we concluded that most of the hay (99%) is used in the farm.
For the second half of the research, we first consulted government resources, such as the website of the Federal Statistical Office in the country. However, information regarding how much hay is made by small, local farmers versus commercial hay producers was not available. But a report from the institution revealed that most of the agricultural land is grassland and owned by farmers. It implies that most of the haymaking is done by farmers. On the other, another study showed that farmers do need an additional source of fodder. Thus, even though we were not able to prove a quantitative answer, our research showed that farmers mostly make their own hay but not entirely.