Inventory practice: Use of existing data on cattle diets in Denmark

Sadie S

Keywords: animal recording systems | feed tables | diet characterization | dairy cattle

What data needs were addressed? Definition of typical rations in the Danish dairy sector, which is used as input to calculation of gross energy per kilogram DM.

Why was the data needed? To estimate gross energy intake and establish the emission factor for dairy cattle, data on actual feeding practices (including nutrient content) is needed.

Methods used: data from dairy farm monitoring systems is used to create feed standards.

How was the data need addressed? In Denmark’s inventory, the calculation of gross energy per kilogram dry matter (DM) relies on the Danish Normative System. Normative standards are developed annually by the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA), on the basis of data received from the central office for all Danish agricultural advisory services, SEGES.

The system is based on data on actual farming practices. In the dairy sector, 10% of the Danish dairy farmers are part of an intensive monitoring system, with the main purpose of establishing production benchmarks, optimizing productivity and research. Four to eight times a year detailed data on livestock numbers, animal weight and rations are collected. Additional feed bought from outside the farm is included in the data collection. The data is used to establish normative standards. The normative standards establish the GE per kg DM in feed.

Further Resources

Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture

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