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Assessing the sustainability of EU dairy farms with different management systems and husbandry practices

Leach, Katharine; Gerrard, Catherine L; Kudahl, Anne Braad; Nykänen, Arja; Vaarst, Mette; Weissensteiner, Roswitha and Padel, Susanne (2012) Assessing the sustainability of EU dairy farms with different management systems and husbandry practices. In: Rahmann, Gerold and Godinho, D (Eds.) Agriculture and Forestry Research (362), pp. 277-281.

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Document available online at: http://www.vti.bund.de/en/startseite/vti-publications/landbauforschung-special-issues.html


The EU funded SOLID project supports research which will contribute to the competitiveness of organic and low input dairy systems, and increase their sustainability. There are many aspects of the sustainability of dairy farms, relating to economic, environmental and social dimensions, and methods of animal husbandry can affect all of these. A UK spreadsheet based tool for rapid assessment of the whole farm was adapted for application on a range of organic and low input dairy farms across the EU. This tool was used to assess approximately ten organic dairy farms in each of four EU countries. Data on farm management practices collected in face to face interviews with farmers were entered and the tool then calculated a composite score for each of 11 separate “spurs” or dimensions contributing to stainability. The results can be used to stimulate discussion between farmers and point to areas where farm sustainability might be improved or topics that would benefit from further research.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Dairy farms, cows, sustainability, participatory research
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Indicators and other value-laden measures
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Environmental aspects
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University
European Union > SOLID
Finland > Luke Natural Resources Institute
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC)
Austria > Other organizations
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:266367
Related Links:http://www.solidairy.eu, http://www.organicresearchcentre.com
Deposited By: Smith, Dr Jo
ID Code:21761
Deposited On:12 Nov 2012 18:34
Last Modified:13 Nov 2012 07:00
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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