Mitigation Options in Perspective of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Production on European Dairy Farms

M.W.J. Stienezen, B. O'Brien, E. Cutullic, P. Faverdin, J.L. Fiorelli, G. Holshof, N.J. Hutchings, J.E. Olesen, H. Perdok, L. Shalloo, C.F.E. Topp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


The AnimalChange project aims at giving AN Integration of Mitigation and Adaptation options for sustainable Livestock production under climate CHANGE. For this we focused on the effects of mitigation options on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and production on European dairy farms. Data are available from several farm types: ”Maritime mixed dairy”, ”Maritime grassland dairy”, ”Continental mixed dairy”, ”Continental grassland dairy” and ”Mediterranean mixed dairy”. Data are provided from virtual farms and real farms. The virtual farms are created by combining estimated data and information based on regional production systems and national statistics. Real-life data are collected on real farms. ”Maritime mixed dairy” is represented by a Dutch virtual farm, a Dutch real farm and a Scottish organic real farm. ”Maritime grassland dairy” is represented by two Irish virtual farms and one Irish real farm. ”Continental mixed dairy” is represented by a French virtual farm. ”Continental grassland dairy” is represented by one French real organic farm and ”Mediterranean mixed dairy” is represented by an Italian virtual farm. Local experts identified the five best mitigation options for their farm(s). From the total number of identified mitigation options the six most common options were selected; fertilisation rate, grass-legume swards, legumes in the rotation, improving pastures, reducing replacement rate, genetic improvement in dairy cattle. These six mitigation options are further specified to be able to simulate the effects on GHG emissions and farm production from the farms mentioned above. FarmAC, a simplified carbon and nitrogen flow-based model for assessing GHG emissions from livestock farming, is used. The effects of mitigation options are simulated one at a time presuming that other factors remain the same. Direct and indirect GHG emissions are calculated within the farm boundary; off farm emissions from the production of imported inputs are not taken into account. Mitigation is assessed both on a per ha and per unit of production basis. Production is expressed in kg milk produced or kg meat produced. Acknowledgement: The research leading to these results has been conducted as part of the AnimalChange project which received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007-2013) under the grant agreement n¿ 266018.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLivestock, Climate Change and Food security, conference abstract book
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventLivestock, Climate Change and food security conference, Madrid, Spain -
Duration: 19 May 201420 May 2014


ConferenceLivestock, Climate Change and food security conference, Madrid, Spain


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