Energy intensity in livestock operations – Modeling of dairy farming systems in Germany
The world’s population and food consumption are increasing drastically while natural resources are decreasing. In particular, energy use is an important component of reaching sustainability in agricultural production processes because of its shortage as resource, its influence on air pollution and its role in the economics of production. This study used system modeling to examine interactions between crop and livestock procedures and between levels of different input factors and their effects on yields in order to determine agricultural energy intensity. A method based on direct and indirect energy inputs within the livestock operation and plant production is used. A sensitivity analysis is done to investigate the influence of site conditions on the energy intensity of milk production and to highlight recommendations for management practices in livestock operations to reduce the energy use on dairy farms in Germany. An uncertainty analysis is used to evaluate the results of this study.
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- Thomassen, M.A. & van Calker, K.J. & Smits, M.C.J. & Iepema, G.L. & de Boer, I.J.M., 2008. "Life cycle assessment of conventional and organic milk production in the Netherlands," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 96(1-3), pages 95-107, March.
- Pervanchon, F. & Bockstaller, C. & Girardin, P., 2002. "Assessment of energy use in arable farming systems by means of an agro-ecological indicator: the energy indicator," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 149-172, May.
- Refsgaard, Karen & Halberg, Niels & Kristensen, Erik Steen, 1998. "Energy utilization in crop and dairy production in organic and conventional livestock production systems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 599-630, August.
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