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Tools and technologies to reduce fossil energy use on dairy farms

Code: 9781801465014
Philip Shine and Michael D. Murphy, Munster Technological University, Ireland; and John Upton, Teagasc Moorepark, Ireland

Chapter synopsis: With a growing demand for milk and dairy products coupled with concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions, the sustainable use of on-farm energy resources is essential. Milk production requires electrical energy for powering plant equipment, liquid fuels for powering machinery, indirect energy for fertilizer and feed production, and embodied energy within machinery and buildings. Conventional dairy farms require 54% more primary energy inputs than organic farms due to greater use of fertiliser and concentrate feed. Pasture-based feeding systems showed 55% less feed energy demand. The installation of milk pre-cooling and variable speed drive drives can be effective measures to mitigate on-farm electricity use in the milking shed, while solar PV systems have the potential to cost effectively reduce energy related greenhouse gas emissions. Energy demand and cost savings vary from farm-to-farm, so tools such as the Dairy Energy Decision Support Tool are essential for informing stakeholders about effective smart energy strategies that can reduce energy demand.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2022.0100.16
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Energy monitoring 3 Energy modelling 4 Smart energy strategies 5 Case study: Dairy Energy Decision Support Tool 6 Conclusion and future trends 7 Where to look for further information 8 References

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