Lets expand on this. It does require smart farmers too!!!
SMART STRATEGIESThe rule of 3’s1. Breeding.2. Feeding.3. Animal Management.
1. BREEDING Okay so we select for cows who can turn feed into milk as efficiently as possible.
Feed Conversion Efficiency (FCE)So what is FCE?Simplest way to put it is most cows eat about 20kg DM* perday.So if she can turn 20kgs of feed into: • 20 litres of milk - she has an FCE of 1 • 40litres of milk - she has an FCE of 2So the higher the FCE the more efficient she is*DM = dry matter i.e. feed with water taken out
2. Feeding Feed me the best quality, energy rich feed you can grow & buy. Trust me I’m worth it and I am good for the environment too.
Grow them big and tall• By feeding your cows to grow big and tall and enter the milking herd at two years old you can reduce their non productive life as a green house gas emitter. Sounds very efficient indeed!!! Lets look at why?
2 small cows vs. 1 BIG COWSo lets look at the maths• Just like you and me a cow uses some of the food she eats to turn into energy for maintenance ( i.e. walking, breathing, growing etc)• 1 small cow will use 70 to 80 MJ ( Mega Joules*) just for maintenance• 1 big cow will use 100 MJ for maintenance* Joule = measurement of energy
But wait there is moreIf 1 small cow only has the capacity toproduce 5000 litres per year and the big cowcan produce 10000 litres per year thatmeans the big cow uses 60% less energy formaintenance than 2 little cows to producethe same amount of milk. Bit confused ? Have a look at the pictures on the next page.
2 SMALL COWS VS. 1 BIG COW 60% MORE ENERGY NEEDED for MAINTENANCE to PRODUCE SAME AMOUNT OF MILK 1 x 100MJ = 100MJ = 10000 litres2 x 80MJ = 160MJ = 10000 litres
SO BIG IS BEAUTIFUL - FEEDING COWS WELL CAN REDCUE METHANE EMMISIONS BY 30%www.climatechange.gov.au/en/climate-change/emissions.aspx
3. ANIMAL MANAGEMENT• Milking 3 x daily increases milk production by up to 25%• This means dairy farmers can milk less cows who produce MORE milk on the same amount of land• This means less Green House Gas emissions per unit of production
Less Green House Gases???• It is well known by breeding cows with high FCE and milking them 3x daily dairy farmers can reduce Green House Gas Emissions by up to 30% WOW Now that’s smart!!
Lets look at someother on farm less is MORE strategies
MORE SMART STRATEGIES1.Fertiliser Management.2.Fertiliser Formulation.3.Pasture and Soil Management.
1. Fertiliser Management How to Make Less do MORE
Laughing Gas – not so funny• Nitrous oxide also known as laughing gas or happy gas is a major greenhouse gas and air pollutant.• Over a 100 year period, it has 298 times more impact per unit weight than carbon dioxide.• Nitrous oxide escapes into the air when nitrogen fertiliser is used.
Fertiliser – the aim of the game…is to keep the nutrients on the pasture and out of the airways and waterways.• So its very important to: measure what goes in and what goes out and only apply what you need, where you need it and not when rain is going to bucket down. Remember Uncle Steve’s Rule “If you cant measure it, you cant manage it”
2. Fertiliser Formulations• Like all things driven by need, fertilisers are being developed with protective coatings to reduce the amount of Nitrous Oxide escaping in the atmosphere. Fertiliser isnt the only bad guy. Did you walk to work today?
3. Pasture & Soil Management• The key is to grow as, much pasture as you can and this allows a high stocking rate i.e. more cows/ha.• One of the greatest on-farm challenges is the inefficiencies from wasting grass – a high stocking rate utilises the grass when it is available.• Using water and nutrient efficient grasses means less fertiliser use and more pasture grown on the moisture shoulders.• Grow drought tolerant species with potential for rapid recovery after drought.
FOOD MILES ????• The dairy industry only uses grains and by-products not fit for human consumption.• And yes the grain truck may travel 300km but we are actually minimising GHGE as we are producing milk close to where it is consumed.• After all the milk truck leaves the farm everyday but the grain truck only comes every 6-8 weeks.
SO HOW CLEVER IS THE DAIRY INDUSTRY??THE COWS ARE GETTING BIGGER, PRODUCING MORE MILK FROM LESS OF THEM AND THE FOOTSTEPS ARE GETTING SMALLER?
Cows are part of the solution• If there is a problem it is not the cow, but the way we manage the farm system and its carbon cycle.• Dairy farmers have the responsibility to be good stewards of the land and livestock for the benefit of the land, the livestock, the community, and themselves.
So don’t sweat thesmall stuff.The time isNOW to get SMART
CLIMATE CHANGE OR NOT !!!We have more people to feed, & more people to house,
TAKE HOME MESSAGE Follow the cows do MORE with Less
Acknowledgements• This is a CoolCows production by Ellie Lindsay for the Cream of the Crop Competition• Ellie would like to acknowledge – the genii behind the great pictures gleaned from the web for this PowerPoint. – Dr Richard Eckard Uni of Melbourne - Dairy Greenhouse Gas Abatement Guru www.greenhouse.unimelb.edu.au
Remember!! It’s so Cool to do MORE with Less!!!