Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Sustainable development of agriculture: contribution of farm-level assessment tools
    Olde, Evelien de - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): I.J.M. de Boer, co-promotor(en): E.A.M. Bokkers; F.W. Oudshoorn. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430685 - 152
    sustainable agriculture - sustainability - sustainability indicators - sustainability criteria - assessment - tools - reliability - validity - farming systems - duurzame landbouw - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - duurzaamheidsindicatoren - duurzaamheidscriteria - beoordeling - gereedschappen - betrouwbaarheid - geldigheid - bedrijfssystemen

    Current environmental, economic and social challenges urge agriculture to change to more sustainable modes of production. Insight in the impact of a system or a potential innovation on sustainability could support decision makers in identifying actions towards sustainable development. Over the past decade, therefore, a large number of tools have been developed to assess sustainability performance at farm level. Several concerns, however, have been raised whether assessment results provide reliable and valid conclusions about the sustainability performance of farms, and whether these conclusions can be implemented in practice. To evaluate the contribution of farm-level assessment tools to sustainable development of agriculture, this thesis analyzed current approaches to assessing sustainability. One of these approaches is the sustainability assessment tool RISE 2.0, which was used to assess the sustainability performance of 37 organic farms in Denmark. Analysis of the assessment results showed the impact of decisions, made during the development of a tool (e.g. selection of themes, indicators, reference values, scoring and aggregation method), on the assessment results. This emphasizes the importance of transparency in sustainability assessment tools to understand assessment results and identify actions to improve. Subsequently, a comparison of sustainability assessment tools in practice was made to gain insight into practical requirements, procedures and relevance perceived by farmers. Of 48 indicator-based sustainability assessment tools, only four tools (RISE, SAFA, PG and IDEA) complied to the selection criteria and were applied to assess the sustainability performance of five Danish farms. Characteristics including data requirements, assessment time, complexity, transparency and output accuracy varied between tools. Critical factors in farmers’ perception of tool relevance were context specificity, user-friendliness, complexity of the tool, language use, and a match between value judgements of tool developers and farmers. Farmers, moreover, indicated that implementing conclusions derived from sustainability assessments is challenging given the complex organization of agricultural systems. A more in-depth analysis of the four tools revealed a high diversity in selected indicators, themes, reference values, and scoring and aggregation methods. This results in different conclusions on the sustainability performance of farms, which does not only cause confusion but also affects the trust in, and reliability and implementation of, sustainability assessments. Variability in tools is caused by different perspectives on how to assess sustainability and is related to differences in context, priorities and value judgements of tool developers. These differences also play a role in the prioritization of criteria for indicator selection. To explore whether sustainability experts agreed on which criteria are most important in the selection of indicators and indicators sets for sustainability assessments, two ranking surveys were carried out. Both surveys showed a lack of consensus amongst experts about how best to measure agricultural sustainability. This thesis revealed variability in approaches to assess sustainability at farm level. This makes current assessment tools less suitable for functions that require a high reliability and validity, such as certification. Instead, current assessment tools present a useful starting point for discussion, reflection and learning on sustainable development of farming. To enhance the contribution of tools towards sustainable development of agriculture, more attention should be paid to increasing reliability and validity of tools, and improving transparency, harmonization, participation and implementation of assessments.

    When experts disagree : the need to rethink indicator selection for assessing sustainability of agriculture
    Olde, Evelien M. de; Moller, Henrik ; Marchand, Fleur ; McDowell, Richard W. ; MacLeod, Catriona J. ; Sautier, Marion ; Halloy, Stephan ; Barber, Andrew ; Benge, Jayson ; Bockstaller, Christian ; Bokkers, E.A.M. ; Boer, Imke J.M. de; Legun, Katharine A. ; Quellec, Isabelle Le; Merfield, Charles ; Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Reid, John ; Schader, Christian ; Szymanski, Erika ; Sørensen, Claus A.G. ; Whitehead, Jay ; Manhire, Jon - \ 2017
    Environment, Development and Sustainability 19 (2017)4. - ISSN 1387-585X - p. 1327 - 1342.
    Indicator selection - Multi-criteria assessment - Ranking - Sustainability assessment - Temperate agriculture
    Sustainability indicators are well recognized for their potential to assess and monitor sustainable development of agricultural systems. A large number of indicators are proposed in various sustainability assessment frameworks, which raises concerns regarding the validity of approaches, usefulness and trust in such frameworks. Selecting indicators requires transparent and well-defined procedures to ensure the relevance and validity of sustainability assessments. The objective of this study, therefore, was to determine whether experts agree on which criteria are most important in the selection of indicators and indicator sets for robust sustainability assessments. Two groups of experts (Temperate Agriculture Research Network and New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard) were asked to rank the relative importance of eleven criteria for selecting individual indicators and of nine criteria for balancing a collective set of indicators. Both ranking surveys reveal a startling lack of consensus amongst experts about how best to measure agricultural sustainability and call for a radical rethink about how complementary approaches to sustainability assessments are used alongside each other to ensure a plurality of views and maximum collaboration and trust amongst stakeholders. To improve the transparency, relevance and robustness of sustainable assessments, the context of the sustainability assessment, including prioritizations of selection criteria for indicator selection, must be accounted for. A collaborative design process will enhance the acceptance of diverse values and prioritizations embedded in sustainability assessments. The process by which indicators and sustainability frameworks are established may be a much more important determinant of their success than the final shape of the assessment tools. Such an emphasis on process would make assessments more transparent, transformative and enduring.
    Combining automatic milking and grazing using detailed cow information
    Ipema, A.H. ; Holshof, G. ; Oudshoorn, F. ; Allain, F. ; Flessire, F. - \ 2016
    In: Book of Abstracts of the 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (Book of abstracts 22) - ISBN 9789086862849 - p. 496 - 496.
    Lessons learned from a qualitative sustainability assessment method “Farm Talks”
    Olde, E.M. de; Derkzen, P.H.M. ; Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Sorensen, C.A.G. - \ 2016
    In: Book of abstracts 12th European IFSA Symposium. - - 12 p.
    This paper presents a qualitative peer review “Farm Talks” method which stimulates farmers’ learning beyond existing quantitative sustainability assessment tools. Farm Talks were started in 2008 by the biodynamic farming association and the Demeter organization in the Netherlands as a qualitative alternative to support learning and awareness on sustainability and biodynamic principles. In each Farm Talk, a farm is visited by a small group of colleagues and a facilitator to discuss farming practices and to explore how the farm could develop its sustainability performance. The Farm Talks method presents a novel approach to sustainability assessments in agriculture and enables farmers to define what they consider important for sustainable and biodynamic farming. The development of the method went through several phases of readjustments based on feedback from farmers and facilitators, and experiences from practice. The initial combination of learning and performance functions in Farm Talks caused tensions. Given the focus on individual farm development, the method continued as a learning and process-oriented method. A precondition for such an approach is the willingness of farmers to participate and actively engage. The method enables farmers to define actions for improvement based on their intrinsic motivation.
    The role of sustainability assessment tools in enhancing dialogue and joint learning in transdisciplinary research on dairy farming
    Olde, E.M. de; Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Sorensen, C.A.G. - \ 2016
    In: Book of abstracts 12th European IFSA Symposium. - - p. 73 - 73.
    Dairy farming is confronted with a wide range of environmental, economic and social challenges. To address these challenges, a transdisciplinary approach in which researchers and practitioners collaborate is needed. In the AUTOGRASSMILK project, researchers, farmers and farmers’ organizations collaborated to address current challenges in European dairy farming. By combining a scientific background with the practical context, the project aimed to develop and implement strategies and technologies to combine grazing and AMS in dairy farms appropriate to the different European regions. An indicator-based sustainability assessment tool was developed to assess the sustainability performance of dairy farms. Results from using the tool on 26 dairy farms in six European countries illustrated current economic challenges in dairy farming.
    The collaborative development of the tool supported participants to engage in dialogue on what constitutes sustainable dairy farming. Developing the tool improved understanding of regional differences in dairy production, and challenges involved in defining generic strategies and policies to improve sustainability in dairy farming. The development of a sustainability assessment tool involves decisions on sustainability themes, indicators and reference values and brings forward differences in perspectives and values on sustainability. As such, the process of developing a sustainability assessment tool can enhance dialogue and learning in transdisciplinary projects.
    Developing a tool to assess the sustainability of farms with automatic milking systems and grazing
    Olde, E.M. de; Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Sorensen, C.A.G. - \ 2016
    In: Book of abstracts of the International Conference on Agricultural Engineering, CIGR - AgEng. -
    The use of automatic milking systems (AMS) is increasing among European dairy farms and is associated with a decrease in farms practicing grazing. This shift results in concerns about environmental and economic implications, as well as the impact on animal welfare and cultural values. In the EU project AUTOGRASSMILK a sustainability assessment tool was developed to gain a better understanding of the sustainability performance of dairy production systems with AMS and grazing.
    The development of the tool was organized in five phases. First, a stakeholder analysis was performed and identified farmers, advisory services and researchers as key stakeholders to identify sustainability indicators. Second, representatives of research institutes, advisory services, and farmers were asked to define the importance of economic, environmental, social and governance themes for the assessment of the sustainability performance of dairy farms. Third, weights were assigned to a selection of 25 themes by distributing 100 points over the themes in each dimension. Subsequent, 50 indicators were specified to evaluate the performance on each theme. Finally, reference values had to be defined for each indicator. Project meetings and data of 37 monitor farms in 7 European countries highlighted differences between dairy production systems (i.e. productivity, costs, and grazing season), and emphasized the need for a context specific approach using regional reference values. Regional reference values were gathered in cooperation with experts in each country. Sustainability assessments of 37 farms indicate farm profitability and working hours as key sustainability challenges. The development of the sustainability assessment tool presented a valuable method to enhance understanding of systems, indicator synergies, and trade-offs. Moreover, its' development supported knowledge exchange and learning between stakeholders on sustainable dairy farming in Europe
    Are dairy farmers willing to invest in technology to detect lameness?
    Olde, E.M. de; Jensen, E.M. ; Oudshoorn, F.W. ; Sorensen, C.A.G. - \ 2016
    Lameness in dairy cows is a symptom caused by a variety of foot and leg disorders. It is a severe problem in livestock farming, not only from the perspective of animal welfare, but also economically, since it reduces milk yield and gives expenses for the necessary treatments. A range of systems using smart sensor technology has been developed in order to detect lameness as early, accurate and safely as possible, for example Gaitwise and Stepmetrix. However, currently no system exists on the market that is in widespread practical use. The aim of this study was to analyse the lameness challenges in Danish dairy farming and the willingness of dairy farmers to invest in technologies to detect lameness. A questionnaire targeting relevant stakeholders in Danish dairy farming was carried out. Two types of questionnaires were developed; one for farmers and one for companies (i.e. advisors, veterinarians). Invitations for both questionnaires were spread through dairy farming websites. The questionnaire was developed to allow for three different ways of answering, through SMS, email or through a website. The results demonstrate different perceptions between farmers and companies regarding the estimated lameness incidence of Danish farms. The majority of farmers estimated the lameness incidence on their farm as below 10%, whereas the majority of companies estimated the lameness incidence of the farms they visit above 10%. One of the reasons for this divergence could be the differences in the observation and understanding of lameness. The willingness to invest in lameness detection technology varies considerably amongst farmers. Moreover, an observed skepticism by some farmers could be a result of the current economic recession in Danish dairy farming.
    Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic Farms in Denmark
    Olde, Evelien De; Oudshoorn, Frank ; Bokkers, E.A.M. ; Stubsgaard, Anke ; Sørensen, Claus ; Boer, Imke De - \ 2016
    Sustainability 8 (2016)9. - ISSN 2071-1050
    The growth of organic agriculture in Denmark raises the interest of both producers and consumers in the sustainability performance of organic production. The aim of this study was to examine the sustainability performance of farms in four agricultural sectors (vegetable, dairy, pig and poultry) using the sustainability assessment tool RISE 2.0. Thirty seven organic farms were assessed on 10 themes, including 51 subthemes. For one theme (water use) and 17 subthemes, a difference between sectors was found. Using the thresholds of RISE, the vegetable, dairy and pig sector performed positively for seven themes and the poultry sector for eight themes. The performance on the nutrient flows and energy and climate themes, however, was critical for all sectors. Moreover, the performance on the economic viability theme was critical for vegetable, dairy and pig farms. The development of a tool, including decisions, such as the selection of themes and indicators, reference values, weights and aggregation methods, influences the assessment results. This emphasizes the need for transparency and reflection on decisions made in sustainability assessment tools. The results of RISE present a starting point to discuss sustainability at the farm-level and contribute to an increase in awareness and learning about sustainability
    Assessing sustainability at farm-level : Lessons learned from a comparison of tools in practice
    Olde, Evelien M. De; Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Sørensen, Claus A.G. ; Bokkers, A.M. ; Boer, Imke J.M. De - \ 2016
    Ecological Indicators 66 (2016). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 391 - 404.
    Agricultural production - Farm level - Livestock - Relevance - Sustainability assessment tools

    In the past decades a wide variety of tools have been developed to assess the sustainability performance of farms. Although multiple studies have compared tools on a theoretical basis, little attention has been paid to the comparing tools in practice. This research compared indicator-based sustainability assessment tools to gain insight in practical requirements, procedures and complexity involved in applying sustainability assessment tools. In addition, the relevance of the tools, as perceived by farmers, was evaluated. An overview of 48 indicator-based sustainability assessment tools was developed to, subsequently, select tools that address the environmental, social and economic dimension of sustainability, are issued in a scientific publication and suitable for assessing the sustainability performance of livestock and arable farms in Denmark. Only four tools (RISE, SAFA, PG and IDEA) complied with the selection criteria and were used to assess the sustainability performance of five Danish farms. The tools vary widely in their scoring and aggregation method, time requirement and data input. The farmers perceived RISE as the most relevant tool to gain insight in the sustainability performance of their farm. The findings emphasize the importance of context specificity, user-friendliness, complexity of the tool, language use, and a match between value judgements of tool developers and farmers. Even though RISE was considered as the most relevant tool, the farmers expressed a hesitation to apply the outcomes of the four tools in their decision making and management. Furthermore, they identified limitations in their options to improve their sustainability performance. Additional efforts are needed to support farmers in using the outcomes in their decision making. The outcomes of sustainability assessment tools should therefore be considered as a starting point for discussion, reflection and learning.

    Generic sustainability assessment themes and the role of context : The case of Danish maize for German biogas
    Gasso, Vicent ; Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Olde, Evelien De; Sørensen, Claus A.G. - \ 2015
    Ecological Indicators 49 (2015). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 143 - 153.
    Context - Generic - Issues - Objectives - Sustainability - Themes

    The choice of context-generic or -specific themes and subthemes (goals and objectives) for sustainability assessment implies a number of tradeoffs; for instance, benchmarking and resource efficiency vs. coverage and engagement. Analyses of the potentials and limitations of generic assessment themes and sub-themes within specific contexts may help to develop frameworks that minimise the tradeoffs between generic and specific assessment approaches. The aim of this study was to analyse the effectiveness of generic themes and sub-themes of existing frameworks for covering the key sustainability issues of a specific case study - the case of Danish maize for German biogas. The results indicate that generic frameworks can effectively cover context-specific issues related to the environmental dimension of sustainability. Conversely, generic frameworks can be unable to identify context-specific issues related to social and economic dimensions. This study suggests that the coverage gap of generic themes is mainly an issue of framework incompleteness that can be advanced with additional research. A one-size-fits-all specificity-level for sustainability assessment is not applicable, and the specificity-level should be tailored to the assessment purpose. A certain degree of stakeholder participation is recommended not only in the assessment process, but also during the framework design to support stakeholders' sustainability education and action.

    Economic impact of grazing dairy cows on farms equipped with an automatic milking system
    Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Brocard, V. ; Pol, A. van den - \ 2015
    In: Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (Grassland science in Europe ) - ISBN 9789090289618 - p. 469 - 471.
    Automatic milking Systems (AMS) have been practised for a number of years in Denmark, France and the Netherlands. During these years, combining automatic milking (AM) and pasture access for feeding has remained problematic. Grazing has, however, many benefits, both for farmers, animals, landscape, biodiversity, and for the overall image of dairy farming. In this study we compared the conomic results of dairy farms with AMS (AMS farms) which practice grazing with those of AMS farms without grazing. The economic impact of grazing dairy cows on AMS farms was analysed using accounting data of commercial dairy farms in Denmark, France and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands grazing was economically beneficial but this effect declined with increasing farm size. In France, income tended to be higher on farms that practised grazing, and in Denmark no economic difference of farmer incomes were found. A complicating factor of the analysis was that the actual feed uptake during grazing was not
    recorded in the database in any of the three countries. A key recommendation from this study is that the level of grazing and intake from grazing as a proportion of the total diet is recorded in the future.
    Autograssmilk : Combining automatic milking and precision grazing
    Pol, A. van den; O'Brien, B. ; Oudshoorn, F. ; Sporndly, R. ; Brocard, V. ; Dufrasne, Isabelle - \ 2015
    - p. 329 - 329.
    Automatic milking (AM) system have changed dairy herd management and have significantly reduced the physical work involved. Indoor feeding systems have been well adapted to AM, however grazing has not, thus leading to a decrease in grazing on farms with AM. Grazing has many advantages for the economy, environment, animal welfare and product quality. Thus, AM and cow grazing are each highly valued, but have not generally been considered compatible in combination.
    Non-linear associations between serum 25-OH vitamin D and indices of arterial stiffness and arteriosclerosis in an older population
    Dijk, S.C. van; Sohl, E. ; Oudshoorn, C. ; Enneman, A.W. ; Ham, A.C. ; Swart, K.M.A. ; Wijngaarden, J.P. van; Brouwer, E.M. ; Zwaluw, N.L. van der; Uitterlinden, A.G. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Dhonukshe-Rutten, R.A.M. ; Lips, P. ; Schoor, N.M. van; Blom, H.J. ; Geleijnse, J.M. ; Feskens, E.J.M. - \ 2015
    Age and Ageing 44 (2015)1. - ISSN 0002-0729 - p. 136 - 142.
    nutrition examination survey - 3rd national-health - cardiovascular-disease - blood-pressure - d deficiency - risk - 25-hydroxyvitamin-d - hypertension - mortality - system
    Background: several studies have been pointing towards a non-linear relationship between serum 25(OH)D and cardiovascular disease. Next to vitamin D deficiency, also higher levels of 25(OH)D have been reported to be associated with increased cardiovascular risk. We aimed to investigate the nature of the relationship between serum 25(OH)D and measures of arterial stiffness and arteriosclerosis in an elderly population. Design: cross-sectional. Setting/subjects: a subgroup of the B-PROOF study was included to determine associations between serum 25(OH)D and arterial stiffness and atherosclerosis (n = 567, 57% male, age 72.6 ± 5.6 years, mean serum 25(OH)D 54.6 ± 24.1 nmol/l). Methods: carotid intima media thickness (IMT) was assessed using ultrasonography and pulse wave velocity (PWV) was determined with applanation tonometry. Associations were tested using multivariable restricted cubic spline functions and stratified linear regression analysis. Results: the associations between serum 25(OH)D and carotid IMT or PWV were non-linear. Spline functions demonstrated a difference between 25(OH)D deficient and sufficient individuals. In serum 25(OH)D sufficient participants (=50 nmol/l; n = 287), a positive association with IMT and serum 25(OH)D was present (ß 1.24; 95%CI [0.002; 2.473]). PWV levels were slightly lower in vitamin D deficient individuals, but the association with 25(OH)D was not significant. Conclusion: our study demonstrates that associations of serum 25(OH)D and PWV and IMT in an elderly population are not linear. In particular from serum 25(OH)D levels of 50 nmol/l and up, there is a slight increase of IMT with increasing 25(OH)D levels.
    Using mobile milking robots for special quality dairy products based on site-specific grazing
    Oudshoorn, F.W. ; Philipsen, A.P. ; Dufrasne, L. ; Pol-van Dasselaar, A. van den - \ 2013
    In: Proceedings of the 17th EGF Symposium, Akureyri, Iceland, 23-26 June 2013. - - p. 276 - 278.
    An option for combining grazing and automatic milking is Infield Automatic Milking, with more or less mobile infield automatic milking systems (IAMS), which have been practiced since 2008 in several European countries. This emerging technology can be used to harvest milk from specific areas, giving specialized dairies the possibility to market concept milk, cheese or butter. Terroir dairy can be a new way to increase marginal product value and thereby farm income. Three different options are described; i) the IAMS placed on a stationary platform in the field, ii) movable together with facilities necessary for the functionality from field to field, iii) as a self propelled moving unit that changes positions in the field every day, requiring transportation of the milk to the field border. All systems could guarantee dairy products based on maximum grazing for the period the pasture can provide sufficient feeding. Batch size depends on the dairies minimum process volume for the specific products, local conditions will be decisive for the amount of days needed for pooling before production.
    Associatie Vitamine D met vaatwandstijfheid is leeftijdsafhankelijk
    Dijk, S.C. van; Sohl, E. ; Oudshoorn, C. ; Enneman, A.W. ; Brouwer, E.M. ; Ham, A.C. ; Swart, K.M.A. ; Wijngaarden, J.P. van; Jongh, R.T. de; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Dhonukshe-Rutten, R.A.M. ; Lips, P. ; Meiracker, A.H. van den; Zillikens, M.C. ; Uitterlinden, A.G. ; Mattace Raso, F.U.S. ; Schoor, N.M. van; Velde, N. van der - \ 2013
    Sustainability evaluation of automatic and conventional milking systems on organic dairy farms in Denmark
    Oudshoorn, F.W. ; Kristensen, T. ; Zijpp, A.J. van der; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2012
    NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 59 (2012)1-2. - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 25 - 33.
    egg-production systems - indicators - cows - management - frequency - impact
    Organic dairy farmers in Denmark currently are implementing automatic milking systems (AMS) to save labour costs. As organic agriculture aims at sustainable production, the introduction of a new technology such as AMS should be evaluated regarding its economic viability, environmental impact, and social acceptability, i.e., its contribution to sustainable development. The objective of this research, therefore, was to evaluate sustainability of AMS use on organic dairy farms in Denmark, by comparing results of a set of sustainability indicators for nine farms using AMS with nine farms using conventional milking systems (CMS). Sustainability indicators were quantified for economic performance of the farm, on-farm eutrophication, on-farm biodiversity, animal welfare (including health), grazing time, milk composition and labour time. Milk yield per cow per year was higher for AMS farms (9021 kg energy corrected milk [ECM] per cow per year) than for CMS farms (7664 kg ECM), but did not result in a higher net profit or gross margin per cow for AMS farms. Nitrogen surplus per hectare of available land was higher for AMS farms (110 kg N ha-1) than for CMS farms (66 kg N ha-1). This difference was not due to the use of AMS but was caused by a higher export of manure by the CMS farms. The number of veterinary treatments per cow per year was unaffected by AMS use, but culling rate was higher for the AMS farms (38%) than for the CMS farms (32%). There was no difference between the AMS and CMS farms in milk composition indicators such as somatic cell count, clostridium spores, and urea. The acid degree value (ADV), measuring free fatty acids (FFA) in the milk, was higher in the milk from the AMS farms (0.78 meq l-l) compared with the CMS farms (0.49 meq l-l). Labour time measured in hours of work per dairy cow per day, was only half for the AMS compared with the CMS users; i.e., 2.3 min per cow per day. Grass intake by grazing as percentage of total feed intake was reduced by AMS (5.1 kg DM per cow per day for the AMS farms against 6.8 kg DM per cow per day for the CMS farms). From this quantification of selected sustainability indicators it can be concluded that organic dairy farms using AMS, in spite of the substantial decrease in grazing time, show the potential of economic and environmental sustainable development within the range of herd sizes investigated (65–157 cows per farm). Even though the lower number of grazing hours per cow per year on the AMS farms did not affect indicator scores for animal health or milk quality, this reduction in grazing hours might be a problem for consumers to accept AMS use
    Distribution of Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis in relation to food resources, distance to roosts, and the location of refuges
    Si, Y. ; Skidmore, A.K. ; Wang, T. ; Boer, W.F. de; Toxopeus, A.G. ; Schlerf, M. ; Oudshoorn, M. ; Zwerver, S. ; Jeugd, H. van der; Exo, K.M. ; Prins, H.H.T. - \ 2011
    Ardea 99 (2011)2. - ISSN 0373-2266 - p. 217 - 226.
    bellied brent geese - white-fronted geese - foraging behavior - selection - bernicla - quality - britain - herbivores - digestion - quantity
    We used GPS satellite tracking data and field measurements of vegetation to investigate the effect of food resources, distance to roosts, and the location of refuges on the distribution of Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis in the northern part of The Netherlands. To deal with spatial dependence among the data, a spatial lag model was used. A significant quadratic effect was found between sward height and goose distribution, indicating that geese prefer patches with intermediate sward heights. The manipulation of sward height can therefore be used to attract geese to refuges and thus reduce goose grazing in agricultural land. No relationship was found between grass nitrogen content and grazing intensity, indicating that geese do not distinguish between areas based on nitrogen content. A higher grazing intensity was observed in areas located within 2 km from roosts. The eight tracked geese spent 80% of their foraging time in refuges, demonstrating the importance of the refuge system
    Economic and environmental evaluation of three goal-vision based scenarios for organic dairy farming in Denmark.
    Oudshoorn, F.W. ; Sorensen, C.A.G. ; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2011
    Agricultural Systems 104 (2011)4. - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 315 - 325.
    greenhouse-gas emissions - livestock production - milk-production - systems - sustainability - netherlands - futures - europe - health - cows
    The objective of this study was to explore the sustainability of future organic dairy farming systems in Denmark, by evaluating the economic and environmental consequences of three scenarios at the farm level based on different visions of future sustainability leading to different farm-based goals. The future sustainable organic dairy farming systems were deduced from participative sessions with stakeholders, and used to define specific scenarios and related key parameters. Parameterization of the scenarios was based on model simulations and the invoking of expert knowledge. Each scenario was designed to fulfil different aspects of sustainability. The business as usual scenario (BAU) was driven by economic incentives and implemented new technologies and measures to enhance productivity and efficiency. This scenario was expected to be the mainstream strategy of future organic dairy production in Denmark. In the animal welfare scenario (ANW), economic efficiency was subordinate to animal welfare, and measures to improve animal welfare, such as lower milk yield, extra grazing area and a deep-litter barn, were incorporated. The environmental scenario (ENV) was designed to minimize N losses into the environment, reduce emission of greenhouse gases and the use of fossil energy, and was based on self-sufficiency regarding nutrients and feed. The economic evaluation of the scenarios was based on quantification of farm profitability (i.e. net profit), whereas environmental evaluation was based on the quantification of the N-surplus per ha, emission of greenhouse gases, and use of fossil energy per kg energy-corrected milk (ECM). Compared to prolonging the current main stream strategy (BAU), the evaluation of scenarios revealed that investing in animal welfare comprised trade-offs regarding farm profitability, climate change and the use of fossil energy. In ANW, net profit per farm was almost 39 k€ lower than in BAU, whereas emission of greenhouse gases and energy per kg ECM was 8% and 3% higher, respectively. Minimizing environmental impact in ENV reduced local as well as global environmental impact without an economic trade-off. Greenhouse gas emission per kg ECM was 5% lower and fossil energy use was 11% lower than in BAU. The N-surplus of ENV was 80 kg per ha, whereas the N-surplus was approximately 116 in both BAU and ANW. Prolonging the current main stream strategy (BAU) resulted in a high local environmental impact, a moderate global environmental impact and a high economic risk related to changes in milk price or costs.
    Environmental evaluation of three alternative futures for organic dairy in Denmark.
    Oudshoorn, F.W. ; Sorensen, C.A.G. ; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2009
    Agronomy Research 7 (2009). - ISSN 1406-894X - p. 691 - 705.
    Objective of this study was to explore sustainability of scenarios for organic dairy farming based on visions and goals of the future, by parameterization at farm level. The scenarios were in agreement with the scope of principles for organic farming; health, ecology, fairness and care. Scenarios were designed using stakeholder and expert opinions and then translate them through choice of relevant production parameters to a farm unit design. This resulted in three vision-based scenarios, one animal welfare (ANW), one environmental (ENV) and one using all possible new technologies to enhance productivity and efficiency (business as usual, BAU). The amount of milk produced per ha was, 9500, 7215 and 5188 kg ECM respectively for BAU, ANW and ENV. Stocking density was 1.41, 1.38, and 0.88 Livestock Units respectively for BAU, ANW and ENV, parallel to large differences in required import of feed. The different organic farms of the future are to be evaluated on the environmental impacts, green house gas (GHG) emissions, nitrogen surplus and energy use, economy, and social acceptance.
    Oudegaasterbrekken, Fluessen en omgeving
    Oudshoorn, M.J. ; Janssen, J.A.M. - \ 2009
    In: Europese Natuur in Nederland. Natura 2000-gebieden van Laag Nederland. / Janssen, J.A.M., Schaminée, J.H.J., Zeist : KNNV uitgeverij - ISBN 9789050112833 - p. 122 - 125.
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