Optimising Livestock Productivity
Farming livestock more efficiently can improve business profitability.
Scotland’s Climate Change Plan aims to see a further 9% reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture by 2032. One of the areas where a further reduction in emissions from farms is possible is through improved livestock productivity. Farming livestock more efficiently can improve business profitability.
A Carbon Audit is a useful tool for farmers to highlight areas of management where improvements and efficiency savings can be made (find out about funding for this here).
Often the effect of multiple small changes in livestock management can result in significant financial savings and reductions in carbon outputs. This has been highlighted by some of the Climate Change Focus Farms from the Farming For a Better Climate initiative e.g. at Woodhead Farm, dairy farmer John Kerr made financial savings of £63,000 whilst reducing his carbon footprint by 6% over a 4 year period.
Improving animal health and welfare, including livestock fertility and liveweight gains are areas where improvements can be made. Increasing outputs e.g. litres milk per cow, live weight gains in beef calves/lambs will help to improve farm efficiency. Maximising feed from pasture as a result of grassland efficiency should be adopted by all sectors. This relies on a holistic farm approach with improved soil and nutrient management and efficient grazing practices.
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