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Organic dairy farming: towards sustainability

Code: 9781838791537
Florian Leiber, Adrian Muller, Veronika Maurer, Christian Schader and Anna Bieber, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland

Chapter synopsis: Ruminants play a key role in organic systems, due to their ability to use grassland resources, legumes from crop rotations and crop residues, and to supply manure for the soil. Grassland-based milk production therefore is likely to be the most sustainable system for dairy cattle in organic agriculture. However, digestion of fibre is a prominent source of enteric methane production with negative ecological impact, thereby raising an apparent ecological dilemma. This chapter examines challenges of organic dairy farming and proposes a number of solutions, including approaches based on integrated dairy and beef production, roughage-based feeding systems, breeding strategies, and improving animal health and welfare.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2016.0005.34
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Local and global feed efficiency and ecological sustainability 3 Towards solutions 1: longevity and integrated dairy and beef production 4 Towards solutions 2: developing roughage-based feeding strategies 5 Towards solutions 3: organic dairy breeding 6 Towards solutions 4: approaching animal health and welfare 7 Research into sustainable organic dairy production 8 Future trends and conclusion 9 Where to look for further information 10 References

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