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Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2022) | Viewed by 54339

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Guest Editor
ERA-Chair in Food (By-) Products Valorisation Technologies (VALORTECH), Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 56/5, 51006 Tartu, Estonia
Interests: sustainable food production; food quality and safety; food processing and preservation technology; nutraceuticals; food for health; novel food products
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Achieving success along the entire production and supply chain of a dairy sector depends explicitly on adopting a sustainable 'state of the art' approach. In this regard, understanding key sustainability indicators and challenges with a holistic approach is vital. Appropriate design, application of novel technologies, implementation of life cycle analysis, upgradation and optimization of the entire production line are some of the key factors to be measured. Besides, it is vital that due consideration is given to demands of the producers, consumers, and dependent industries. Nevertheless, concern for the environment, social security and economy of the region should not be ignored. Precise planning ('on-farm' and 'off-farm') assumes importance especially when circular economy strategies needs to be considered. With these as background, this Special Issue welcomes submission of original research articles, short communications, and reviews focused towards identifying present opportunities and overcoming future sustainability challenges in the global dairy sector.

Prof. Dr. Rajeev Bhat
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Biomolecules and Nutraceutical value
  • Innovative technologies
  • Sustainable production
  • Valorization strategies
  • Wastes and By-products management
  • Circular economy
  • Climate change
  • Carbon footprint
  • Functional products
  • Blockchain technology and Supply chain
  • Regulatory and legislative issues
  • Food security and education

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

7 pages, 223 KiB  
Editorial
Global Dairy Sector: Trends, Prospects, and Challenges
by Rajeev Bhat, Jorgelina Di Pasquale, Ferenc Istvan Bánkuti, Tiago Teixeira da Silva Siqueira, Philip Shine and Michael D. Murphy
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4193; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074193 - 1 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6141
Abstract
Currently, there is a strong need to find practical solutions towards meeting the expected efficiency and overcoming recurring sustainability challenges in the global dairy sector [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)

Research

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15 pages, 1619 KiB  
Article
LCA to Estimate the Environmental Impact of Dairy Farms: A Case Study
by Sara Zanni, Mariana Roccaro, Federica Bocedi, Angelo Peli and Alessandra Bonoli
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 6028; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14106028 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3539
Abstract
Intensive farming is responsible for extreme environmental impacts under different aspects, among which global warming represents a major reason of concern. This is a quantitative problem linked to the farm size and a qualitative one, depending on farming methods and land management. The [...] Read more.
Intensive farming is responsible for extreme environmental impacts under different aspects, among which global warming represents a major reason of concern. This is a quantitative problem linked to the farm size and a qualitative one, depending on farming methods and land management. The dairy sector is particularly relevant in terms of environmental impact, and new approaches to meeting sustainability goals at a global scale while meeting society’s needs are necessary. The present study was carried out to assess the environmental impact of dairy cattle farms based on a life cycle assessment (LCA) model applied to a case study. These preliminary results show the possibility of identifying the most relevant impacts in terms of supplied products, such as animal feed and plastic packaging, accounting for 19% and 15% of impacts, respectively, and processes, in terms of energy and fuel consumption, accounting for 53% of impacts overall. In particular, the local consumption of fossil fuels for operations within the farm represents the most relevant item of impact, with a small margin for improvement. On the other hand, remarkable opportunities to reduce the impact can be outlined from the perspective of stronger partnerships with suppliers to promote the circularity of packaging and the sourcing of animal feed. Future studies may include the impact of drug administration and the analysis of social aspects of LCA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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24 pages, 3120 KiB  
Article
Safety Failure Factors Affecting Dairy Supply Chain: Insights from a Developing Economy
by Aisha Hassan, Li Cui-Xia, Naveed Ahmad, Muzaffar Iqbal, Kramat Hussain, Muhammad Ishtiaq and Maira Abrar
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9500; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179500 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4448
Abstract
Safety issues in the dairy industry have attracted greater attention in recent years, and the public have showed an intensive concern regarding safety failure in the dairy supply chain. Since the dairy industry is closely associated with humans and fulfills basic necessities, it [...] Read more.
Safety issues in the dairy industry have attracted greater attention in recent years, and the public have showed an intensive concern regarding safety failure in the dairy supply chain. Since the dairy industry is closely associated with humans and fulfills basic necessities, it is necessary to explore safety failure factors (SFFs) affecting the supply chain of the dairy industry. This paper aims to explore the SFFs of the dairy supply chain using an interpretive structural modeling technique (ISM) and Matrice d’Impacts Croises Multiplication Appliques a un Classement (MICMAC) analysis in a Pakistani context. A total of twenty-five failure factors have been identified through literature reviews and the opinion of an expert team, including managerial and technical experts from the dairy industry, as well as academics. Interpretive structural modeling (ISM) is applied to analyze the mutual interaction among barriers and to develop a structural model. The MICMAC technique is used to identify the importance of SFFs based on their driving and dependence power. The results of this study will help decision-makers in the dairy industry to plan their supply chain activities more effectively and efficiently by managing the identified barriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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11 pages, 1173 KiB  
Article
Developing Country-Specific Methane Emission Factors and Carbon Fluxes from Enteric Fermentation in South Korean Dairy Cattle Production
by Ridha Ibidhi, Tae-Hoon Kim, Rajaraman Bharanidharan, Hyun-June Lee, Yoo-Kyung Lee, Na-Yeon Kim and Kyoung-Hoon Kim
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9133; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169133 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3172
Abstract
Dairy cattle farming contributes significantly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through methane (CH4) from enteric fermentation. To complement global efforts to mitigate climate change, there is a need for accurate estimations of GHG emissions using country-specific emission factors (EFs). The objective [...] Read more.
Dairy cattle farming contributes significantly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through methane (CH4) from enteric fermentation. To complement global efforts to mitigate climate change, there is a need for accurate estimations of GHG emissions using country-specific emission factors (EFs). The objective of this study was to develop national EFs for the estimation of CH4 emissions from enteric fermentation in South Korean dairy cattle. Information on dairy cattle herd characteristics, diet, and management practices specific to South Korean dairy cattle farming was obtained. Enteric CH4 EFs were estimated according to the 2019 refinement of the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) using the Tier 2 approach. Three animal subcategories were considered according to age: milking cows >2 years, 650 kg body weight (BW); heifers 1–2 years, 473 kg BW; and growing animals <1 year, 167 kg BW. The estimated enteric CH4 EFs for milking cows, heifers, and growing animals, were 139, 83 and 33 kg/head/year, respectively. Currently, the Republic of Korea adopts the Tier 1 default enteric CH4 EFs from the North America region for GHG inventory reporting. Compared with the generic Tier 1 default EF of 138 (kg CH4/head/year) proposed by the 2019 refinement to the 2006 IPCC guidelines for high-milking cows, our suggested value for milking cows was very similar (139 kg CH4 /head/year) and different to heifers and growing animals EFs. In addition, enteric CH4 EFs were strongly correlated with the feed digestibility, level of milk production, and CH4 conversion rate. The adoption of the newly developed EFs for dairy cattle in the next national GHG inventory would lead to a potential total GHG reduction from the South Korean dairy sector of 97,000 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent per year (8%). The outcome of this study underscores the importance of obtaining country-specific EFs to estimate national enteric CH4 emissions, which can further support the assessment of mitigation actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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20 pages, 1184 KiB  
Article
The Whole and the Parts—A New Perspective on Production Diseases and Economic Sustainability in Dairy Farming
by Susanne Hoischen-Taubner, Jonas Habel, Verena Uhlig, Eva-Marie Schwabenbauer, Theresa Rumphorst, Lara Ebert, Detlev Möller and Albert Sundrum
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9044; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169044 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2581
Abstract
The levels of production diseases (PD) and the cow replacement rate are high in dairy farming. They indicate excessive production demands on the cow and a poor state of animal welfare. This is the subject of increasing public debate. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
The levels of production diseases (PD) and the cow replacement rate are high in dairy farming. They indicate excessive production demands on the cow and a poor state of animal welfare. This is the subject of increasing public debate. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of production diseases on the economic sustainability of dairy farms. The contributions of individual culled cows to the farm’s economic performance were calculated, based on milk recording and accounting data from 32 farms in Germany. Cows were identified as ‘profit cows’ when they reached their individual ‘break-even point’. Data from milk recordings (yield and indicators for PD) were used to cluster farms by means of a principal component and a cluster analysis. The analysis revealed five clusters of farms. The average proportion of profit cows was 57.5%, 55.6%, 44.1%, 29.4% and 19.5%. Clusters characterized by a high proportion of cows with metabolic problems and high culling and mortality rates had lower proportions of profit cows, somewhat irrespective of the average milk-yield per cow. Changing the perception of PD from considering it as collateral damage to a threat to the farms’ economic viability might foster change processes to reduce production diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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13 pages, 432 KiB  
Article
Designing and Distinguishing Meaningful Artisan Food Experiences
by Erin Percival Carter and Stephanie Welcomer
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8569; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158569 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3212
Abstract
We examine consumer expectations about how specialty versus conventional food products affect well-being and how small, artisan producers can use that information to design better customer experiences. Drawing on recent work examining the costs and benefits of pleasure- and meaning-based consumption, we investigate [...] Read more.
We examine consumer expectations about how specialty versus conventional food products affect well-being and how small, artisan producers can use that information to design better customer experiences. Drawing on recent work examining the costs and benefits of pleasure- and meaning-based consumption, we investigate whether consumer expectations that specialty products are more meaningful lead to increased desire for additional product information. We selectively sampled from the target market of interest: high-involvement consumers who regularly consume a food (cheese) in both more typical and specialty forms. The authors manipulate product type (typical versus special) within participant and measure differences in expected pleasure and meaning as well as a variety of behaviors related to and preference for additional product information. We find that these high-involvement consumers expect special food products to provide both more meaningful (hypothesized) and more pleasurable consumption experiences (not hypothesized) than typical food products. Consistent with our theory, consumer use of, search for, and preference for additional product information was greater for special products. A causal mediation analysis revealed that expectations of meaning mediate the relationship between product type and utility of product information, an effect which persists controlling for the unexpected difference in expected pleasure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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14 pages, 1405 KiB  
Article
A Typological Classification for Assessing Farm Sustainability in the Italian Bovine Dairy Sector
by Margherita Masi, Yari Vecchio, Gregorio Pauselli, Jorgelina Di Pasquale and Felice Adinolfi
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7097; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137097 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3110
Abstract
Italy is among the most important countries in Europe for milk production. The new European policies encourage a transition towards sustainability and are leading European dairy farms to follow new trajectories to increase their economic efficiency, reduce their environmental impact, and ensure social [...] Read more.
Italy is among the most important countries in Europe for milk production. The new European policies encourage a transition towards sustainability and are leading European dairy farms to follow new trajectories to increase their economic efficiency, reduce their environmental impact, and ensure social sustainability. Few studies have attempted to classify dairy farms by analyzing the relationships between the structural profiles of farms and the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of sustainability. This work intends to pursue this aim through an exploratory analysis in the Italian production context. The cluster analysis technique made it possible to identify three types of dairy farms, which were characterized on the basis of indicators that represented the three dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social, and economic sustainability) and the emerging structural relationships based on the structural characteristics of the dairy farms. The classification made it possible to describe the state of the art of the Italian dairy sector in terms of sustainability and to understand how different types of farms can respond to the new European trajectories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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17 pages, 2125 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Suitability of a Heat Pump Water-Heater as a Method to Reduce Agricultural Emissions in Dairy Farms
by Patrick S. Byrne, James G. Carton and Brian Corcoran
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105736 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2611
Abstract
The performance of an air-source heat pump water-heater (ASHPWH) system manufactured by Kronoterm was benchmarked in this study for the application of dairy farming in Ireland. The COP of the system was calculated to be 2.27 under normal operating conditions. The device was [...] Read more.
The performance of an air-source heat pump water-heater (ASHPWH) system manufactured by Kronoterm was benchmarked in this study for the application of dairy farming in Ireland. The COP of the system was calculated to be 2.27 under normal operating conditions. The device was able to supply water at 80 °C, however a full tank at this temperature was not achieved or deemed necessary for the dairy application. Litres per kWh was used as a performance metric for the device and the usable water per unit of energy for the system was found to be 397 L when using both electric heaters and 220 L when using just the top heater both in conjunction with the heat pump. The performance of the heat pump system in terms of its cost to run and efficiency was also compared with five other water heaters. The heat pump is seen to be very efficient, however due to the carbon intensity of the Irish grid electricity and high water temperatures required, the solar water heater with gas backup was found to be the best performing under energy efficiency and carbon emissions per litre of usable water. In conclusion, although the heat pump was not the best-performing system under these metrics, the cost and complexity of the solar-gas system may be a deterrent for dairy farmers and for this reason, the heat pump is considered a cost-effective, efficient and viable option for dairy farmers trying to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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12 pages, 4943 KiB  
Article
Manure Flushing vs. Scraping in Dairy Freestall Lanes Reduces Gaseous Emissions
by Elizabeth G. Ross, Carlyn B. Peterson, Yongjing Zhao, Yuee Pan and Frank M. Mitloehner
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5363; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105363 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2857
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to mitigate ammonia (NH3), greenhouse gases (GHGs), and other air pollutants from lactating dairy cattle waste using different freestall management techniques. For the present study, cows were housed in an environmental chamber from which [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to mitigate ammonia (NH3), greenhouse gases (GHGs), and other air pollutants from lactating dairy cattle waste using different freestall management techniques. For the present study, cows were housed in an environmental chamber from which waste was removed by either flushing or scraping at two different frequencies. The four treatments used were (1) flushing three times a day (F3), (2) flushing six times a day (F6), (3) scraping three times a day (S3), and (4) scraping six times a day (S6). Flushing freestall lanes to remove manure while cows are out of the barn during milking is an industry standard in California. Gas emissions were measured with a mobile agricultural air quality lab connected to the environmental chamber. Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions were decreased (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05) in the flushing vs. scraping treatments, respectively. Scraping increased NH3 emissions by 175 and 152% for S3 and S6, respectively vs. F3. Ethanol (EtOH) emissions were increased (p < 0.001) when the frequency of either scraping or flushing was increased from 3 to 6 times but were similar between scraping and flushing treatments. Methane emissions for the F3 vs. other treatments, were decreased (p < 0.001). Removal of dairy manure by scraping has the potential to increase gaseous emissions such as NH3 and GHGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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19 pages, 716 KiB  
Article
Organizational Forms and Agri-Environmental Practices: The Case of Brazilian Dairy Farms
by Tiago Teixeira da Silva Siqueira, Danielle Galliano, Geneviève Nguyen and Ferenc Istvan Bánkuti
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3762; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073762 - 28 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2773
Abstract
Understanding the relationship between the organizational characteristics of a farm and its environmental performance is essential to support the agro-ecological transition of farms. This is even more important as very few studies on the subject have been undertaken and as there is a [...] Read more.
Understanding the relationship between the organizational characteristics of a farm and its environmental performance is essential to support the agro-ecological transition of farms. This is even more important as very few studies on the subject have been undertaken and as there is a growing diversity of organizational forms of farms that differ from the traditional family model. This paper proposes a comprehensively integrated approach of dairy farms in Brazil. A case study of six archetypes of farms with contrasted organizational characteristics is developed to explore the relations between, on the one hand, farms’ organizational structure and governance, and on the other hand, the adoption of agri-environmental practices. Results show that the adoption of agri-environmental practices varies across the wide range of farm’s organizational forms—from the family to the industrial models. Farms with limited internal resources depend more specifically on external sectoral or territorial resources to implement environmental practices. If the environment is conducive to the creation of incentives and coordination mechanisms underlying learning processes, farms will adopt agri-environmental practices, regardless of they are organized. The creation of local cooperatives, farmer’s networks and universities extension programs can strengthen farmers’ absorption, adaptation and transformation capacities and boost the adoption of environmental practices. Finally, considering farms as heterogeneous organizational forms in terms of human capital, resources, market, and informational access is essential to accelerate the agroecological transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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19 pages, 7664 KiB  
Article
Technical Efficiency in the European Dairy Industry: Can We Observe Systematic Failures in the Efficiency of Input Use?
by Lukáš Čechura and Zdeňka Žáková Kroupová
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1830; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041830 - 8 Feb 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2546
Abstract
The paper provides findings on the technical efficiency of the European dairy processing industry, which is one of the most important subsectors of the food processing industry in the European Union (EU). The ability to efficiently use inputs in the production of outputs [...] Read more.
The paper provides findings on the technical efficiency of the European dairy processing industry, which is one of the most important subsectors of the food processing industry in the European Union (EU). The ability to efficiently use inputs in the production of outputs is a prerequisite for the sustainability and competitiveness of the agri-food sector as well as for food security. Thus, the aim of this paper is to provide a robust estimate of technical efficiency by employing new advances in productivity and efficiency analysis, and to investigate the efficiency of input use in 10 selected European countries. The analysis is based on two-stage stochastic frontier modelling incorporating country-specific input distance function (IDF) estimates and a meta-frontier input distance function estimate, both in specification of the four-component model, which currently represents the most advanced approach to technical efficiency analysis. To provide a robust estimate of these models, the paper employs methods that control for the potential endogeneity of netputs in the multi-step estimation procedure. The results, based on the Amadeus dataset, reveal that companies manufacturing dairy products greatly exploited their production possibilities in 2006–2018. The dairy processing industry in the analysed countries cannot generally be characterized by a considerable waste of resources. The potential cost reduction is estimated at 4–8%, evaluated on the country samples mean. The overall technical inefficiency (OTE) is mainly a result of short-term shocks and unsystematic failures. However, the meta-frontier estimates also reveal a certain degree of systematic failure, e.g., permanent managerial failures and structural problems in European dairy processing industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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12 pages, 1522 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impacts of Milking Cows in Latvia
by Janis Brizga, Sirpa Kurppa and Hannele Heusala
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020784 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3366
Abstract
Increasing pressures surrounding efficiency and sustainability are key global drivers in dairy farm management strategies. However, for numerous resource-based, social, and economic reasons sustainable intensification strategies are herd-size dependent. In this study, we investigated the environmental impacts of Latvia’s dairy farms with different [...] Read more.
Increasing pressures surrounding efficiency and sustainability are key global drivers in dairy farm management strategies. However, for numerous resource-based, social, and economic reasons sustainable intensification strategies are herd-size dependent. In this study, we investigated the environmental impacts of Latvia’s dairy farms with different management practices. The herd size-dependent management groups varied from extensively managed small herds with 1–9 cows, extending to stepwise more intensively managed herds with 10–50, 51–100, 100–200, and over 200 milking cows. The aim is to compare the environmental impacts of different size-based production strategies on Latvia’s dairy farms. The results show that the gross greenhouse gas emissions differ by 29%: from 1.09 kg CO2 equivalents (CO2e) per kg of raw milk for the farms with 51–100 cows, down to 0.84 kg CO2e/kg milk for farms with more than 200 cows. However, the land use differs even more—the largest farms use 2.25 times less land per kg of milk than the smallest farms. Global warming potential, marine eutrophication, terrestrial acidification, and ecotoxicity were highest for the mid-sized farms. If current domestic, farm-based protein feeds were to be substituted with imported soy feed (one of the most popular high-protein feeds) the environmental impacts of Latvian dairy production would significantly increase, e.g., land use would increase by 18% and the global warming potential by 43%. Environmental policy approaches for steering the farms should consider the overall effects of operation size on environmental quality, in order to support the best practices for each farm type and steer systematic change in the country. The limitations of this study are linked to national data availability (e.g., national data on feed production, heifer breeding, differences among farms regards soil type, manure management, the proximity to marine or aquatic habitats) and methodological shortcomings (e.g., excluding emissions of carbon sequestration, the use of proxy allocation, and excluding social and biodiversity impacts in life-cycle assessment). Further research is needed to improve the data quality, the allocation method, and provide farm-size-specific information on outputs, heifer breeding, manure storage, and handling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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12 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Effect of SOP “STAR COW” on Enteric Gaseous Emissions and Dairy Cattle Performance
by Elizabeth G. Ross, Carlyn B. Peterson, Angelica V. Carrazco, Samantha J. Werth, Yongjing Zhao, Yuee Pan, Edward J. DePeters, James G. Fadel, Marcello E. Chiodini, Lorenzo Poggianella and Frank M. Mitloehner
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10250; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410250 - 8 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3307
Abstract
Feed additives have received increasing attention as a viable means to reduce enteric emissions from ruminants, which contribute to total anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of the commercial feed additive SOP STAR COW (SOP) [...] Read more.
Feed additives have received increasing attention as a viable means to reduce enteric emissions from ruminants, which contribute to total anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of the commercial feed additive SOP STAR COW (SOP) to reduce enteric emissions from dairy cows and to assess potential impacts on milk production. Twenty cows were blocked by parity and days in milk and randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups (n = 10): supplemented with 8 g/day SOP STAR COW, and an unsupplemented control group. Enteric emissions were measured in individual head chambers over a 12-h period, every 14 days for six weeks. SOP-treated cows over time showed a reduction in CH4 of 20.4% from day 14 to day 42 (p = 0.014), while protein % of the milk was increased (+4.9% from day 0 to day 14 (p = 0.036) and +6.5% from day 0 to day 42 (p = 0.002)). However, kg of milk protein remained similar within the SOP-treated cows over the trial period. The control and SOP-treated cows showed similar results for kg of milk fat and kg of milk protein produced per day. No differences in enteric emissions or milk parameters were detected between the control and SOP-treated cows on respective test days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

23 pages, 1468 KiB  
Review
Examining the Variables Leading to Apparent Incongruity between Antimethanogenic Potential of Tannins and Their Observed Effects in Ruminants—A Review
by Supriya Verma, Friedhelm Taube and Carsten S. Malisch
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052743 - 3 Mar 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3240
Abstract
In recent years, several secondary plant metabolites have been identified that possess antimethanogenic properties. Tannin-rich forages have the potential to reduce methane emissions in ruminants while also increasing their nutrient use efficiency and promoting overall animal health. However, results have been highly inconclusive [...] Read more.
In recent years, several secondary plant metabolites have been identified that possess antimethanogenic properties. Tannin-rich forages have the potential to reduce methane emissions in ruminants while also increasing their nutrient use efficiency and promoting overall animal health. However, results have been highly inconclusive to date, with their antimethanogenic potential and effects on both animal performance and nutrition being highly variable even within a plant species. This variability is attributed to the structural characteristics of the tannins, many of which have been linked to an increased antimethanogenic potential. However, these characteristics are seldom considered in ruminant nutrition studies—often because the analytical techniques are inadequate to identify tannin structure and the focus is mostly on total tannin concentrations. Hence, in this article, we (i) review previous research that illustrate the variability of the antimethanogenic potential of forages; (ii) identify the source of inconsistencies behind these results; and (iii) discuss how these could be optimized to generate comparable and repeatable results. By adhering to this roadmap, we propose that there are clear links between plant metabolome and physiology and their antimethanogenic potential that can be established with the ultimate goal of improving the sustainable intensification of livestock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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20 pages, 284 KiB  
Review
A Global Review of Monitoring, Modeling, and Analyses of Water Demand in Dairy Farming
by Philip Shine, Michael D. Murphy and John Upton
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7201; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177201 - 3 Sep 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4322
Abstract
The production of milk must be balanced with the sustainable consumption of water resources to ensure the future sustainability of the global dairy industry. Thus, this review article aimed to collate and summarize the literature in the dairy water-usage domain. While green water [...] Read more.
The production of milk must be balanced with the sustainable consumption of water resources to ensure the future sustainability of the global dairy industry. Thus, this review article aimed to collate and summarize the literature in the dairy water-usage domain. While green water use (e.g., rainfall) was found to be largest category of water use on both stall and pasture-based dairy farms, on-farm blue water (i.e., freshwater) may be much more susceptible to local water shortages due to the nature of its localized supply through rivers, lakes, or groundwater aquifers. Research related to freshwater use on dairy farms has focused on monitoring, modeling, and analyzing the parlor water use and free water intake of dairy cows. Parlor water use depends upon factors related to milk precooling, farm size, milking systems, farming systems, and washing practices. Dry matter intake is a prominent variable in explaining free water intake variability; however, due to the unavailability of accurate data, some studies have reported moving away from dry matter intake at the expense of prediction accuracy. Machine-learning algorithms have been shown to improve dairy water-prediction accuracy by 23%, which may allow for coarse model inputs without reducing accuracy. Accurate models of on-farm water use allow for an increased number of dairy farms to be used in water footprinting studies, as the need for physical metering equipment is mitigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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