SLU news

Reduced environmental impact and increased profitability in milk production

Published: 31 January 2013

A research project that started in the fall of 2012 is expected to make it possible to increase the profitability of primary producers in the dairy industry, and at the same time reduce the environmental impact of the production. This involves research on feed efficiency, an area that has been identified as a key area to reverse negative curves and reduce environmental impact.

The researchers envision a project with results that will provide good opportunities for profitability in primary production. Moreover, they see that the results may increase the added value of the Nordic breeding material.

A selection from the project's expected goals and outcomes:

  • A common Nordic definition of feed efficiency and its components will be used in breeding, feeding and management.
  • Evaluation of a unique Nordic data set with records of feed efficiency and its variation.
  • Investigate whether feed efficiency has a genetic component.
  • Development of methods to estimate the variation in feed efficiency of individual farms.
  • Establishment of a strong Nordic network with expertise in the area.

Feed efficiency as a concept tells you how efficiently the nutrients of the feed can be converted to animal products. This has been identified as a key research area for milk production. The reason is that an improved feed efficiency may be one of the most important factors for competitiveness in the dairy industry. It also reduces the environmental impact.

The project is part of a Nordic cooperation. The Swedish Farmers’ Foundation for Agricultural Research is funding the Swedish part with researchers from SLU and contributes to 2.6 million SEK. The Nordic project on feed efficiency is expected to last for four years.

Source: press release from The Swedish Farmers’ Foundation for Agricultural Research