Life cycle assessment of grassland-based dairy production systems in Switzerland

Zumwald, J.; Braunschweig, M.; Nemecek, T.; Schüpbach, B.; Jeanneret, Ph.; Roesch, A.; Hofstetter, P.; Reidy, Beat (2018). Life cycle assessment of grassland-based dairy production systems in Switzerland In: Sustainable meat and milk production from grasslands : proceedings of the 27th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation. Grassland Science in Europe: Vol. 23 (pp. 541-543). Wageningen, The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers

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The feeding system of dairy cows can strongly influence their environmental impacts. We compared three grassland-based production systems: (A) full-grazing with seasonal calving, and indoor feeding of fresh herbage with (B) reduced concentrate (<500 kg cow-1 yr-1), and (C) standard concentrate (800-1,200 kg cow-1 yr-1) supplementation. The three systems were analysed on 12 pilot farms (PF) (four per strategy) in 2014 as well as on the experimental farm (EF) of the centre for Nature and Nutrition in Hohenrain (2014-16) with the life cycle assessment (LCA) method Swiss Agricultural LCA (SALCA). In terms of environmental impacts, higher concentrate inputs (C) resulted in higher P and K resource use, deforestation and ecotoxicity per kilogram of energy corrected milk (kg ECM). Full grazing tended to a higher global warming potential per kg ECM. However, the differences in environmental impacts per kg ECM were often larger between the single PF and the years than between the three systems. Four main factors influencing the environmental impacts were identified: (1) composition of the feed ration, (2) performance of the system (feed conversion ratio), (3) grazing and manure management, (4) purchase of animals.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Agriculture

Name:

Zumwald, J.;
Braunschweig, M.;
Nemecek, T.;
Schüpbach, B.;
Jeanneret, Ph.;
Roesch, A.;
Hofstetter, P. and
Reidy, Beat0000-0002-8619-0209

ISBN:

978-1-84170-643-6

Series:

Grassland Science in Europe

Publisher:

Wageningen Academic Publishers

Language:

English

Submitter:

Admin import user

Date Deposited:

04 Mar 2020 14:49

Last Modified:

18 Dec 2020 13:28

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.7351

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/7351

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