Establishing national benchmarks of N and P balances and use efficiencies on Irish grassland farms
|Title:||Establishing national benchmarks of N and P balances and use efficiencies on Irish grassland farms||Authors:||Thomas, Ian
|Permanent link:||http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10474||Date:||21-Jun-2018||Online since:||2019-05-15T11:28:14Z||Abstract:||Improving grassland agriculture sustainability requires minimising nutrient balance (NB) surpluses and increasing nutrient use efficiencies (NUE). To set targets for improved farm nutrient management, benchmarks were established by farm sector and production intensity using 1,379 nationally representative farms from the Irish National Farm Survey. Annual farm-gate NBs (kg ha-1) and NUEs (%) for nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) were calculated from import/export data from 2008 to 2015, inclusive. Quantile regression analysis and percentile rankings were used to identify benchmark farms with the lowest surpluses per production intensity (kg N or P exported ha-1), highest NUEs and highest gross margins (Euro ha-1). Large differences in NBs between farms of the same sector and production intensity indicate considerable potential for improvements. For example, benchmark dairy farms maximised productivity (median export 55 kg N ha-1), NUE (median 31%) and gross margins (median Euro 2,593 ha-1) whilst keeping surpluses low (median 124 kg N ha-1) via lower fertiliser and concentrate feed imports and higher stocking densities (median 2.1 livestock units ha-1). Using benchmarks as targets to encourage improvements in nutrient management could help farms achieve this potential and assist in achieving national objectives for sustainable agricultural production.||Funding Details:||Environmental Protection Agency||Type of material:||Conference Publication||Publisher:||Teagasc||Series/Report no.:||Volume 23, Grassland Science in Europe||Copyright (published version):||2018 Teagasc||Keywords:||Benchmark; Balance; Nutrient use efficiency; Sustainability; Ntirogen; Phosphorous||Language:||en||Status of Item:||Peer reviewed||Is part of:||Horan, B., Hennessy, D., O’Donovan, M., Kennedy, E., McCarthy, B., Finn, J.A., O' Brien, B. (eds.). 27th EGF General Meeting on “Sustainable Meat and Milk Production from Grasslands” Grassland Science in Europe||Conference Details:||The 27th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Cork, Ireland, 17-21 June 2018||ISBN:||978-1-84170-643-6|
|Appears in Collections:||Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection|
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