Puzzled as to how red tape and targets for cutting green house gas emissions from rural enterprises will impact on your farm business?

 Then the advice from NI researchers is simple. Keep your foot on the gas as regards the drive for greater efficiency and help reduce emissions.

Addressing the AgriSearch inspired seminar in Hillsborough Duncan Anderson, AFBI agricultural economist, examined various methods of measuring how changes in production technologies and government policies impact on margins and our environment.
Addressing the AgriSearch inspired seminar in Hillsborough Duncan Anderson, AFBI agricultural economist, examined various methods of measuring how changes in production technologies and government policies impact on margins and our environment.

Addressing a packed technical dairy seminar in Hillsborough AFBI’s Dr Conrad Ferris noted that, happily for farmers, cutting green house gases and becoming more efficient – and more profitable – all go hand in hand.

 “Using a newly developed green house gas calculator across a huge range of milk production systems we can produce figures for emissions per kg of milk leaving an individual farm,” the head of dairying research at AFBI explained.

Pictured at the Hillsborough technical dairy seminar
Pictured at the Hillsborough technical dairy seminar

 “Our investigations have led to excellent news for dairy farmers as no matter which milk production system a farm uses the most efficient units make the most money and pose the least threat to our environment. Be they spring, autumn or year round calvers, low or high input producers the results are the same.

 “Those in the top quartile, the top 25%, as regards farm efficiency are in the same pole position as regards lower green house gas emissions!  The take away message from this research is that provided a dairy farm business is highly efficient very different milk production systems can all produce the same desirable carbon footprint.”

  Another AFBI scientist Dr Tianhai Yan revealing that as yield per cow rises the amount of methane per litre of milk falls. “For example, a 10,000 litre cow produces 20% less methane than two run of the mill milkers each yielding 5,000 litres!”