Environmental Sustainability of Dairies

I was reading an article on Grist.org about new efforts in the dairy industry to incorporate more sustainable practices, and a recent Dairy Sustainability summit. The article wasn’t terribly detailed, but did make a statement that

“Numerous studies have demonstrated that organic dairy production produces between one-half to one-third fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and uses about 30 percent less energy than conventional dairy production.”

At the end of the article, a blog discussion requested the writer’s source documents, which she provided below. I poked around to find some online links to them, if you’d like to learn more.

Weiske, A., Vabitsch, A., Olesen, J.E., Schelde, K., Michel, J., Friedrich, R., Kaltschmitt, M., 2005. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in European conventional and organic dairy farming. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ.

Olesen, et al., 2006. Modelling greenhouse gas emissions from European conventional and organic dairy farms. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 112, 207-220) (I couldn’t find this article online, but a similar study is linked.—JC)

Gronroos et al., 2006. Energy use in conventional and organic milk and rye bread production in Finland. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 117, 109-118.

Cederberg et al., 2000. Life Cycle Assessment of milk production- a comparison of conventional and organic farming. Journal of Cleaner Production. 8, 49-60.

Finally, there was also a link to the key targets of the recent summit, from the National Milk Producers Federation web site.


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