Combined production of milk and beef is the mainstay in many European countries. At the same time, the dairy&beef production system is under pressure as a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and through changes in the consumption pattern towards a more plant-based diet. Today's production systems are also not particularly circular due to their dependence on purchased feed concentrates and mineral fertilizers. These are some of the challenges DairyMix addresses by developing decision support, models and management tools for farmers and stakeholders. DairyMix uses a mixed methods approach for sustainable production systems adapted to important European dairy regions with a potential for transferability outside Europe. In the project, we will collaborate with dairy farms in all partner countries and collect data from these. Methods include the electronic barn climate and emission control tool OTICE, machine learning, life-cycle analysis, modeling and multi-criteria analysis. Analyzes of carbon and nutrient utilization, circularity as well as environmental and economic consequences are the core for multi-criteria assessment based on indicators of circularity and efficient use of resources with an emphasis on trade-offs and synergies. DairyMix will host an interactive application, the so-called MilKey / DairyMix multi-player platform, to analyze farm data and to evaluate the effects of changes in farming practices at farm and regional level in terms of environmental, economic and social sustainability indicators. The application will target farmers and other stakeholders in agriculture, and will also be relevant to society and decision-makers.
DairyMix is ??led by the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy in Germany and involves partners in Ireland, Italy, Poland and France.
Dairy production systems (DPS) are an essential backbone of European agriculture.
DairyMix applies a systems approach for sustainable dairy production systems that are targeted to key European regions and beyond. DairyMix is structured in five work packages. WP1 is dedicated to coordination and management. Case studies, data from the extensive DATAMAN database, Eurostat data and data from OTICE, the online barn climate and emission control tool will be collected and analysed in WP2. WP2 data are then fed into WP3 for detailed modelling analysis on carbon and nutrient utilization and circularity of mixed farming systems for dairy production. WP4 brings WP2 and WP3 together for a multi-criteria assessment of mixed farming systems for dairy production based on indicators for circularity and efficient resource use developed in WP2 and WP3. WP5 details a range of communication and dissemination activities and hosts the interactive web application - the MilKey/DairyMix platform - to analyse farm data and to evaluate effects of changes in farming practice at farm and regional level with regard to environmental, economic and societal sustainability indicators.
This output will have farmers and other stakeholders in the primary sector as target group, and will also be relevant for society and policy makers.