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Cow emissions

 

​​Project description (completed research project)

Dairy farming is responsible for a large proportion of Swiss greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. This project investigates how these emissions could be reduced by means of construction and process engineering measures as well as feeding strategies. It seeks to improve the patchy basis of data on emissions arising from dairy farming and to develop practical measures to reduce these emissions.

Aim

In a specially designed test milking parlour, construction, process and organisational measures (design of surfaces, feeding stands, dung removal) are developed to reduce greenhouse gases and ammonia emissions and their efficacy is measured. The methane-reducing effect of supplementing the staple feed with linseed will be investigated in a pilot study. A tracer gas system will be used in the test milking parlour to detect emissions in the unrestricted air flow. This will allow the level of methane emissions produced by the animals’ digestion and liquid manure to be assessed. The measurements of methane emissions produced by digestion will be validated by data from respiration chambers. In addition, the methane and nitrous oxide emissions from manure will be determined in the laboratory.

Relevance

Dairy farming is responsible for a large proportion of Swiss methane and ammonia emissions. This project will develop and test potential practical solutions to reduce these emissions and thus contribute to meeting climate protection objectives. The sustainability and ecological balance of dairy produce can thus be improved at the production stage. The project will also deliver scientific evidence for the implementation of statutory requirements and for updating the emissions register.

Original title

Sustainable milk production systems: ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions and abatement strategies

Project leaders

  • Dr. Sabine Schrade, Agroscope, Research Division Animal Production Systems and Animal Health
  • Dr. Joachim Mohn, Empa
  • Dr. Angela Schwarm, ETH Zürich

 

 

Further information on this content

 Contact

Dr. Sabine Schrade Agroscope Research Division Animal Production Systems and Animal Health 8356 Ettenhausen +41 52 368 33 33 sabine.schrade@agroscope.admin.ch