A varied mixture

The Bühlmann family farm is located next to the Swiss military airport Emmen in the canton of Lucerne. The dairy farm cultivates a 56-hectare area and the livestock consists of approximately 70 cows and 500 pigs.

December 04, 2019

The focus of the Bühlmann family’s dairy farm is to produce high-quality and healthy milk with bearable effort. A secondary activity is the sale of Christmas trees. Thomas Bühlmann, the young director took over his father’s business and loves the varied work on the farm grounds. “The love, as well as the passion for agriculture is definitely a requirement when you decide to take over a farm, work and live there”, proudly said Thomas Bühlmann.

Milk of extraordinary quality
The wellbeing of the animals is first-class. “We can achieve good results only with healthy animals and so ensure our economic existence”, Bühlmann told us. With around 70 Holstein cows, he produces about 750,000 liters of high-quality milk per year on his farm. “We deliver the total amount of milk to Emmi dairy“, said Bühlmann. This was founded in 1907 by 62 cooperatives of the central Swiss milk syndicate in Lucerne, among which were Bühlmann's ancestors. Today it is the largest milk processor in Switzerland and one of the leading premium dairies in Europe. “The most successful and well-known branded products from Emmi are the cheeses Emmental and Le Gruyère, as well as Caffè Latte”, said Bühlmann happily, who himself likes to drink the Coffee-to-go from time to time.

Over 2,000 satisfied customers per year
Not far from the farm, there is a Christmas tree plantation. „Bühlmann’s Christmas trees” means something to many people in Lucerne due to the fact that the Bühlmann family has been in that business for three generations. Yearly they sell over 2000 Christmas trees and the same number of young plants is lovingly planted. With the current number of cows and pigs, the resources are tied up elsewhere throughout the year. “The Christmas tree business is heavily dependent on the season”, explained Thomas Bühlmann. Nonetheless, he absolutely wants the evergreen business to continue to thrive: “The digitalization is for us a challenge and we are testing the entry into online business, but we will keep the traditional and likeable farm-gate sale.”

Stumbling upon Farmtech
Bühlmann heard about the Farmtech brand for the first time when he changed the tractor make. “We have actually always had the same make of tractors, but we changed it through Farmtech’s importer Buchmann Technik, and so we stumbled upon Farmtech products.” The three-way tipper TDK 1300 is used universally for transport jobs on the farm. Among others, the 8,200-liter slurry tanker Supercis 800 with a 9-meter Condor trailing shoe system is one of the newest achievements. “The first Farmtech slurry tanker Supercis 800 sold in Switzerland went to Bühlmann”, proudly said Stefan Buchmann, the owner and director of Buchmann Technik. Like his client, he knows that this product is perfectly suited for the Swiss topography due to its near-ground slurry application.

Tip-top slurry tanker
The crops from the 56-hectare productive land are used by the Bühlmann family completely for feeding the animals. The animals’ slurry is brought back to this land in a circular economy fashion. During his first season with the new Supercis 800, Thomas already performed multiple hauls. “I have been really pleased with the trailer so far – it is solidly built, light and broad, and it also has good roadholding. It is simultaneously extremely user-friendly, but not too complicated despite the trailing shoe system”, Bühlmann praised the new slurry tanker. He also already has improvement suggestions, i.e. Comments prepared: “At first glance, the system’s hoses do not look stable enough, but time will tell.” But he is confident so far. “It definitely exceeded my expectations. On top of that, the price-performance ratio can only be recommended!”

Into the future with pride
When asked about the future, Thomas Bühlmann said: “We have a modern, sustainable and energy-efficient business. Photovoltaics cover a large part of our energy needs. Our animals have the best conditions and we have an excellent customer. However, at the same time, we would like to keep supplying our customers with Christmas trees.” Perfection is a relative matter for Thomas Bühlmann. “One can always do something better and grow more. However, I am pleased with what we are doing and what we have achieved so far”, said Bühlmann with a hint of pride. When asked about the low milk prices, he reacted with complete understanding. “Of course the milk price could be better, but it is ultimately defined by the market and we have to accept it as it is”, concluded Bühlmann and added: “The most important thing is that we are doing what makes us happy!”