‘We need to extend the life of dairy cows’

'We need to extend the life of dairy cows'

In Switzerland, 14 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. Bio Suisse and FiBL think this is overrated. So they’re looking into a preparatory study of whether and how organic farming can become climate neutral. After all, it’s not just the retail sector that is pushing for climate neutral products; The organic farmers themselves also want to contribute to climate-friendly agriculture.

want to change
“The drive to tackle the problem and take personal responsibility is very conscious in organic farming,” says Urs Brändli, President of Bio Suisse. Bio Suisse, along with FiBL, launched the process towards climate-neutral organic farming in August with their “Climate Focus Day”: the workshop, attended by about 80 organic farmers, was to advance the process of opinion-formation and define a common vision.

Extending the life of dairy cows
Knut Schmidtek also stresses that the challenge is huge. Although the preliminary study is not yet complete, the Director of Research, Extension and Innovation at FiBL has already mentioned the first points that can be discussed with the goal of climate neutrality. Livestock, for example, provide opportunities: “To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants, we need to convert vegetation to more climate-friendly plants. In addition, we need to adjust feed composition to emit less methane. We also need to extend lifespan. Dairy cows. Stretch.” In addition, the use of renewable energy sources to power agricultural machinery and buildings will also be an important issue in the future.

According to the preliminary results of the preliminary study, climate neutrality will only be achieved if the inevitable emissions are offset, “for example, by storing carbon via plant biomass,” continues Schmidtke. The preliminary study will provide more precise guidance on the path Bio Suisse and FiBL will take to achieve the ambitious goal.

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