Are private and social goals aligned in pasture-based dairy production?

06 March 2018

To become more sustainable, dairy farms should aim to maximise productivity at a minimum cost to the environment. Standard environmental impact measures were combined with non-parametric total factor productivity analysis to investigate if this is possible in a pasture-based production system. Stocking density and energy-corrected milk production per hectare correlated with overall farm efficiency. More effective use of concentrates and farm-produced hay make these operations more productive and at the same time lower their carbon footprint and make them more nutrient-use efficient. Therefore the pursuit of greater sustainability is well aligned with the objective of profit maximization in this relatively clean form of dairy production.