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Evaluation of a feeding strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farming: The level of analysis matters

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Listed:
  • Van Middelaar, C.E.
  • Berentsen, P.B.M.
  • Dijkstra, J.
  • De Boer, I.J.M.

Abstract

The dairy sector contributes to climate change through emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), via mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). Replacing grass silage with maize silage is a feeding strategy to reduce enteric CH4 emission. The effect of this strategy on GHG emissions can be analyzed at three different levels: animal, farm, and chain level. The level of analysis might affect results and conclusions, because the strategy affects not only enteric CH4 emissions at animal level, but also other GHG emissions at farm and chain levels. The objective of this study was to determine if the level of analysis influences conclusions about the GHG reduction potential of increasing maize silage at the expense of grass and grass silage in a dairy cow’s diet.

Suggested Citation

  • Van Middelaar, C.E. & Berentsen, P.B.M. & Dijkstra, J. & De Boer, I.J.M., 2013. "Evaluation of a feeding strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farming: The level of analysis matters," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 9-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:121:y:2013:i:c:p:9-22
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2013.05.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomassen, M.A. & Dolman, M.A. & van Calker, K.J. & de Boer, I.J.M., 2009. "Relating life cycle assessment indicators to gross value added for Dutch dairy farms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2278-2284, June.
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    3. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Koesling, Matthias & Hansen, Sissel & Bleken, Marina Azzaroli, 2017. "Variations in nitrogen utilisation on conventional and organic dairy farms in Norway," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 11-21.
    2. Meul, Marijke & Van Middelaar, Corina E. & de Boer, Imke J.M. & Van Passel, Steven & Fremaut, Dirk & Haesaert, Geert, 2014. "Potential of life cycle assessment to support environmental decision making at commercial dairy farms," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 105-115.
    3. Flaten, O. & Bakken, A.K. & Randby, Å.T., 2015. "The profitability of harvesting grass silages at early maturity stages: An analysis of dairy farming systems in Norway," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 85-95.

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