Benchmarking Nutrient Use on Irish Farms 2012-2015

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Title: Benchmarking Nutrient Use on Irish Farms 2012-2015
Authors: Kelly, Edel
Buckley, Cathal
Thia, Hennessy
Dillon, Emma
Thomas, Ian
Murphy, Paul
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10310
Date: 25-Apr-2017
Online since: 2019-05-07T11:02:14Z
Abstract: Methods of nutrient accounting are used to quantitatively measure the relationship between nutrient inputs and outputs representing indicators of pressure on the environment. In agriculture these environmental pressures come predominantly from two nutrient inputs, Nitrogen and Phosphorous potentially presenting losses to the atmosphere and the aquatic environment. Various methods of calculating such losses are established in the literature this paper identifies methods of nutrient accounting at farm-level. Through a scored evaluation of six models nutrient balances is identified as the most appropriate tool for monitoring nutrient flow at farm-level. Evaluation is based on two criteria the reliability and availability of data and the usability of indicators for the farmer and the policy maker. Using National Farm Survey data from 2012-2015 this paper presents nutrient balances and nutrient use efficiency indicators on Irish farms and benchmarks economic performance within systems. Findings indicate the most intensive dairy systems have highest levels of nutrient inputs relative to the other farming systems but lower levels of nutrient use efficiency. Nutrient use on-farms present an environmental risk but also an economic cost and so benchmarking farms reflects nutrient use in terms of the economic and environmental impact. Findings show the trends in environmental indicators across all systems and economic performance per unit of product for dairy farms with the best performing dairy farms also having the lowest N surplus per kilogram of milk solids.
Funding Details: Environmental Protection Agency
Type of material: Conference Publication
Copyright (published version): 2017 the Authors
Keywords: Nutrient balancesNutrient use efficiencyDairyWaterResources
Other versions: https://www.teagasc.ie/rural-economy/rural-economy/national-farm-survey/
https://www.aes.ac.uk/welcome
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Conference Details: The 91st Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Society, Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland, 24-26 2017
Appears in Collections:Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection

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