Inventory practice: Estimating milk yields in Luxembourg

Sadie S

Keywords: Milk yield

What data needs were addressed? Estimating milk yield per cow per year.

Why was the data needed? Luxembourg does not have detailed records on milk yields per cow per year, so needed to estimate milk yields from available data.

Methods used: calculation.

How was the data gap addressed? The national inventory uses the official estimate of milk production. This is calculated from the official amount of milk output by producers. It is calculated by Luxembourg Rural Economy Service (SER) by adding up:

  1. the amount of milk collected by the dairy industry directly from the farmers;
  2. the amount of milk and milk products directly sold by the farmers; and
  3. milk consumption on farm, including consumption by farming families and by animals.

Luxembourg has a population of 6000-7000 dairy cows and about 3000 suckler cows. The estimate of milk yield per head first assumes that suckler cows give 3500 kg per year on average. Since management practices have not changed over time, this value remains unchanged. The milk output due to suckler cows is calculated by multiplying the suckler cow population by 3500 kg. The remaining output is then divided by the number of dairy cows to produce an average annual milk yield per dairy cow.

Total milk output in Luxembourg has increased by about 23% between 1990 and 2015, while the dairy population has fallen by 20%. Hence, the implied emission factor for dairy cows has increased by 19% over this period.

Author: Andreas Wilkes, Values for development Ltd (2019)