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Systems in Organic Dairy Production


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Oudshoorn, Frank; Renes, Reint Jan and de Boer, Imke (2008) Systems in Organic Dairy Production. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 2008 (21), pp. 205-228.

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The aim of this study was to explore stakeholder perceptions of the
contribution of an Automatic Milking System (AMS) to sustainable development of
organic dairy production in Denmark and the Netherlands. In addition, reasons for
the current difference in AMS use on organic dairy farms between both countries
were explored. To answer above mentioned aims, farmers and advisors in both
countries were interviewed using a focus group approach. Questions of the interviews
were based on a literature review on sustainability issues affected by introduction of
AMS. Participants expressed no moral problems regarding AMS use. They, however,
pointed out uncertainty about the economic gain, difficulties with grazing,
adaptation problems to technology, and image problems towards consumers. The
latter results from a reduction in grazing time affecting both animal welfare and
product quality. The participants did not recognize eutrophication, as result of high
stocking density on farmstead lots, as a problem caused by AMS. The milk quality
problem related to AMS use, although acknowledged as crucial towards consumers,
was not prioritized very highly, especially not by the farmers in both countries. All
groups were, however, unanimous in their perception of how important image was as
far as the consumers are concerned. The perception analysis revealed that Dutch
participants were more concerned about the economic payoff of AMS use, and
showed more reluctance towards enlargement than Danish ones. In addition, they
acknowledged the small-scale naturalness of organic production. These differences in
perception could possibly explain observed differences in AMS use in organic dairy
production between Denmark and the Netherlands.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:automatic milking system, grazing, organic dairy farming, perception, stakeholders, sustainability
Subjects: Farming Systems
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Deposited By: Oudshoorn, PhD Frank W.
ID Code:2666
Deposited On:05 Aug 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:29
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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