5 ways to reduce carbon emissions on your farm
Although agricultural green-house gases (GHGs) are difficult to reduce, it is not impossible and can done by improving efficiencies on farms, according to a recent report by Teagasc.
Using their DairyCarbon Navigator, dairy farmers can reduce their farming emissions while also keeping a few extra pounds in their pocket.
The DairyCarbon Navigator focuses on five efficiency measures. It collects information from the dairy enterprise and uses this to assess the performance of the farm against peers, by rating performance from poor to excellent. The Teagasc tool estimates the percentage reduction in enterprise GHG emissions that will result from the achievement of the targets which are set. It then assesses the economics if these efficiencies are improved, according to Teagasc.
Increased Economic Breeding Index (EBI)
Increasing genetic merit via EBI has the capacity to mitigate emissions at farm level by firstly improving fertility- reducing calving interval and replacement rate, therefore reducing enteric CH4 emissions per unit of product, according to Teagasc. More compact calving can increase the proportion of grazed grass in the diet and reduces culling and replacement rates on the farm.
Increasing milk yield and improving milk composition increases the efficiency of production, which lessens emissions per unit of product. Improved survival and health reduces deaths and the incidence of disease leading to higher productions levels and lower replacement rate.
Longer grazing season
According to Teagasc, for every 10 Day Increase in grazing season there is a 1.7pc reduction in GHGs and profitability is boosted by €27/cow.