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Variation in carbon footprint of milk due to management differences between Swedish dairy farms

Henriksson, Maria and Flysjö, Anna and Cederberg, Christel and Swensson, Christian (2011). Variation in carbon footprint of milk due to management differences between Swedish dairy farms. Animal. 5, 1-11
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1751731111000437

Abstract

To identify mitigation options to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from milk production (i.e. the carbon footprint (CF) of milk), this study examined the variation in GHG emissions among dairy farms using data from previous CF studies on Swedish milk. Variation between farms in these production data, which were found to have a strong influence on milk CF were obtained from existing databases of e.g. 1051 dairy farms in Sweden in 2005. Monte Carlo analysis was used to analyse the impact of variations in seven important parameters on milk CF concerning milk yield (energy corrected milk (ECM) produced and delivered), feed dry matter intake (DMI), enteric methane emissions, N content in feed DMI, N-fertiliser rate and diesel used on farm. The largest between farm variation among the analysed production data were N-fertiliser rate (kg/ha) and diesel used (l/ha) on farm (coefficient of variation (CV) 31-38%). For the parameters concerning milk yield and feed DMI the CV was approx. 11 and 8%, respectively. The smallest variation in production data was found for N content in feed DMI. According to the Monte Carlo analysis, these variations in production data led to a variation in milk CF of between 0.94 and 1.33 kg CO2 equivalents (CO2e) per kg ECM, with an average value of 1.13 kg/CO2e kg ECM. We consider that this variation of ±17% that was found based on the used farm data would be even greater if all Swedish dairy farms were included, as the sample of farms in this study was not totally unbiased. The variation identified in milk CF indicates that a potential exists to reduce GHG emissions from milk production on both national and farm level through changes in management. As milk yield and feed DMI are two of the most influential parameters for milk CF, feed conversion efficiency (i.e. units ECM produced per unit DMI) can be used as a rough key performance indicator for predicting CF reductions. However, it must be borne in mind that feeds have different CF due to where and how they are produced.

Authors/Creators:Henriksson, Maria and Flysjö, Anna and Cederberg, Christel and Swensson, Christian
Title:Variation in carbon footprint of milk due to management differences between Swedish dairy farms
Series/Journal:Animal (1751-732X)
Year of publishing :2011
Volume:5
Page range:1-11
Publisher:Cambridge journals
ISSN:1751-732X
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Keywords:Monte Carlo analysis, production parameters, feed efficiency, greenhouse gases, life cycle assessment
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-40
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-40
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1017/S1751731111000437
ID Code:8072
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Rural Buildings and Animal Husbandry (until 121231)
External funders:Stiftelsen Lantbruksforskning
Deposited By: doktorand Maria Henriksson
Deposited On:14 Apr 2011 14:19
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:45

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