Grass-based milk systems 'greenest'
Milk from grass-based grazing systems is still the most environmentally friendly, despite the higher greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with the digestion of grass compared to concentrates.
Delegates at the Alltech- sponsored Dairy Solutions Symposium in UCD heard how dairying has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions per litre of milk by more than 60pc since the middle of the last century through improved efficiencies.
However, delegates were told that further reductions will be one of the key priorities of the EU Commission over the coming decades.
Michael Hamell, who is the head of the agriculture unit in the Commission's environment division, said that the industry needed to increase the pace of emission reductions.
"The EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80pc by 2050," he explained.
"That will certainly involve changes not yet imagined and agricultural research and practice will need to be in high gear."
Referring to looming CAP reform negotiations, Mr Hamell said that "upcoming regulatory reviews will provide the opportunity to reflect further on this issue."