The effect of grass yield on economic and environmental performance of dairy farms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic

Abstract

In this study we explored the importance of grass yield for the economic and environmental performance of
dairy farms that apply grazing. A whole-farm optimization model was used to analyse the effect of grass yield
on labour income, nitrogen (N) and phosphate (P2O5) losses and greenhouse gas emissions (summed in kg
CO2-equivalents per kg fat-and-protein-corrected milk (FPCM)). The model contains all relevant activities
and constraints present on Dutch dairy farms and represents a typical farm in 2016. The objective function of
the model maximizes labour income. The model was used to optimize farm management for a dairy farm of
50 ha with different grass yields. Data on grass yields were derived from 23-26 Dutch dairy farms that apply
grazing for the years 2012-2014. Grass yield varied between farms from 34.5 to 69 MJ NEL/ha (NEL = net
energy for lactation) at the same fertilization level of about 225 kg N/ha. The model results show that, based
on the lowest and highest grass yield, labour income varied from -€9,300 to €23,700 yr-1. A higher grass yield
led to a higher labour income mainly due to lower costs for feed purchases. A higher grass yield also resulted
in lower on-farm surpluses, i.e. 181 kg N/ha and 7 kg P2O5/ha (highest grass yield), compared to 245 kg N/
ha and 22 kg P2O5/ha (lowest grass yield), and lower greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. 970 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM
(highest grass yield) compared to 1,047 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM (lowest grass yield). Results show the importance
of grass yield to improve the economic and environmental performance of dairy farms. To identify options
to increase grass yields further research will focus on quantifying relations between grassland management
and grass growth, utilization and intake on modern dairy farms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
Pages1029-1029
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Aug 20162 Sep 2016

Conference

Conference67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast
Period29/08/162/09/16

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economic performance
dairy farming
grasses
labor
income
dairy farm management
farms
dairy protein
environmental performance
greenhouse gas emissions
lipids
surpluses

Cite this

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title = "The effect of grass yield on economic and environmental performance of dairy farms",
abstract = "In this study we explored the importance of grass yield for the economic and environmental performance ofdairy farms that apply grazing. A whole-farm optimization model was used to analyse the effect of grass yieldon labour income, nitrogen (N) and phosphate (P2O5) losses and greenhouse gas emissions (summed in kgCO2-equivalents per kg fat-and-protein-corrected milk (FPCM)). The model contains all relevant activitiesand constraints present on Dutch dairy farms and represents a typical farm in 2016. The objective function ofthe model maximizes labour income. The model was used to optimize farm management for a dairy farm of50 ha with different grass yields. Data on grass yields were derived from 23-26 Dutch dairy farms that applygrazing for the years 2012-2014. Grass yield varied between farms from 34.5 to 69 MJ NEL/ha (NEL = netenergy for lactation) at the same fertilization level of about 225 kg N/ha. The model results show that, basedon the lowest and highest grass yield, labour income varied from -€9,300 to €23,700 yr-1. A higher grass yieldled to a higher labour income mainly due to lower costs for feed purchases. A higher grass yield also resultedin lower on-farm surpluses, i.e. 181 kg N/ha and 7 kg P2O5/ha (highest grass yield), compared to 245 kg N/ha and 22 kg P2O5/ha (lowest grass yield), and lower greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. 970 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM(highest grass yield) compared to 1,047 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM (lowest grass yield). Results show the importanceof grass yield to improve the economic and environmental performance of dairy farms. To identify optionsto increase grass yields further research will focus on quantifying relations between grassland managementand grass growth, utilization and intake on modern dairy farms.",
author = "C.W. Klootwijk and {van Middelaar}, C.E. and {van den Pol}, A. and P.B.M. Berentsen and {de Boer}, I.J.M.",
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Klootwijk, CW, van Middelaar, CE, van den Pol, A, Berentsen, PBM & de Boer, IJM 2016, The effect of grass yield on economic and environmental performance of dairy farms. in Book of Abstracts of the 67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. pp. 1029-1029, 67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, Belfast, United Kingdom, 29/08/16.

The effect of grass yield on economic and environmental performance of dairy farms. / Klootwijk, C.W.; van Middelaar, C.E.; van den Pol, A.; Berentsen, P.B.M.; de Boer, I.J.M.

Book of Abstracts of the 67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. 2016. p. 1029-1029.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic

TY - CHAP

T1 - The effect of grass yield on economic and environmental performance of dairy farms

AU - Klootwijk, C.W.

AU - van Middelaar, C.E.

AU - van den Pol, A.

AU - Berentsen, P.B.M.

AU - de Boer, I.J.M.

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - In this study we explored the importance of grass yield for the economic and environmental performance ofdairy farms that apply grazing. A whole-farm optimization model was used to analyse the effect of grass yieldon labour income, nitrogen (N) and phosphate (P2O5) losses and greenhouse gas emissions (summed in kgCO2-equivalents per kg fat-and-protein-corrected milk (FPCM)). The model contains all relevant activitiesand constraints present on Dutch dairy farms and represents a typical farm in 2016. The objective function ofthe model maximizes labour income. The model was used to optimize farm management for a dairy farm of50 ha with different grass yields. Data on grass yields were derived from 23-26 Dutch dairy farms that applygrazing for the years 2012-2014. Grass yield varied between farms from 34.5 to 69 MJ NEL/ha (NEL = netenergy for lactation) at the same fertilization level of about 225 kg N/ha. The model results show that, basedon the lowest and highest grass yield, labour income varied from -€9,300 to €23,700 yr-1. A higher grass yieldled to a higher labour income mainly due to lower costs for feed purchases. A higher grass yield also resultedin lower on-farm surpluses, i.e. 181 kg N/ha and 7 kg P2O5/ha (highest grass yield), compared to 245 kg N/ha and 22 kg P2O5/ha (lowest grass yield), and lower greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. 970 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM(highest grass yield) compared to 1,047 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM (lowest grass yield). Results show the importanceof grass yield to improve the economic and environmental performance of dairy farms. To identify optionsto increase grass yields further research will focus on quantifying relations between grassland managementand grass growth, utilization and intake on modern dairy farms.

AB - In this study we explored the importance of grass yield for the economic and environmental performance ofdairy farms that apply grazing. A whole-farm optimization model was used to analyse the effect of grass yieldon labour income, nitrogen (N) and phosphate (P2O5) losses and greenhouse gas emissions (summed in kgCO2-equivalents per kg fat-and-protein-corrected milk (FPCM)). The model contains all relevant activitiesand constraints present on Dutch dairy farms and represents a typical farm in 2016. The objective function ofthe model maximizes labour income. The model was used to optimize farm management for a dairy farm of50 ha with different grass yields. Data on grass yields were derived from 23-26 Dutch dairy farms that applygrazing for the years 2012-2014. Grass yield varied between farms from 34.5 to 69 MJ NEL/ha (NEL = netenergy for lactation) at the same fertilization level of about 225 kg N/ha. The model results show that, basedon the lowest and highest grass yield, labour income varied from -€9,300 to €23,700 yr-1. A higher grass yieldled to a higher labour income mainly due to lower costs for feed purchases. A higher grass yield also resultedin lower on-farm surpluses, i.e. 181 kg N/ha and 7 kg P2O5/ha (highest grass yield), compared to 245 kg N/ha and 22 kg P2O5/ha (lowest grass yield), and lower greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. 970 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM(highest grass yield) compared to 1,047 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM (lowest grass yield). Results show the importanceof grass yield to improve the economic and environmental performance of dairy farms. To identify optionsto increase grass yields further research will focus on quantifying relations between grassland managementand grass growth, utilization and intake on modern dairy farms.

M3 - Abstract

SP - 1029

EP - 1029

BT - Book of Abstracts of the 67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science

ER -

Klootwijk CW, van Middelaar CE, van den Pol A, Berentsen PBM, de Boer IJM. The effect of grass yield on economic and environmental performance of dairy farms. In Book of Abstracts of the 67st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. 2016. p. 1029-1029