Our Position on Dairy Farm Energy Consumption

The demand for energy continues to grow. The world’s appetite for electricity alone will increase energy demand more than 70% by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency. At the same time, most energy produced comes from non-renewable fuels causing pollution and other negative environmental impacts such as Global Warming. Energy conservation and the use of renewably produced energy are at the top of many nations' political agendas.

 Energy on dairy farms 

So how can dairy farms use energy more effectively and reduce their costs as well as environmental footprint? Luckily there are many opportunities by either reducing the amount of energy used in production or by increasing the amount of milk produced using the same amount of electricity.  

Animal agriculture uses energy directly and indirectly. The direct use comes from diesel to run machinery such as tractors or from electricity to run equipment indoors. Indirectly, diesel is also used to produce feed off-farm and to transport feed over long distances to farms. Additionally, the production of synthetic fertilizers requires a lot of electricity and sometimes natural gas for drying. The indirect energy use also includes what is required to produce all the equipment and consumables. 

It has never been more important for farms to use energy effectively. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) expects the total dairy demand to increase 58 % by 2050 compared to 2010 levels. In the short term, the increased output will be achieved by either adding more cows to the herd or increasing the yield per herd. The developing world will likely try to add more cows while the developed world will focus more on increasing the yield per herd. As farms develop and become larger, more mechanized and automated, the direct use of electrical energy per farm increases. Longer term the focus is likely to shift to increased productivity worldwide.  

At DeLaval, our vision is to make sustainable food production possible. The products and solutions we provide are designed to help dairy farmers around the world do more with less. These solutions can both reduce the direct and the indirect use of energy. To support the development of more productive dairy farms DeLaval continues to develop and offer increasingly sophisticated technological solutions that allow for individual monitoring and management of animals. The aim is to increase the Lifetime Daily Yield and thereby both the economic and environmental sustainability of the dairy farm.

Click the link above the picture to the right to read the full position paper.