Abstract for: Policy Modeling for Greenhouses Gas Emissions on Dairy Cattle Sector: the Importance of the Milk Production Improvement
More than 14.5 Billion $ were spent in US by FederalR&D authority for 2011 for Climate Change. Current focus of animal scientists is to identify the most viable solutions to improve farm profitability and milk production while minimizing the environmental impact of livestock. The main objective of this paper was to use the System Dynamics methodology to: 1) model the importance of the milk production improvement to reduce greenhouses emissions in the dairy cattle sector, and 2) focus a viable policy to minimize the dairy environmental impact. The model consisted of 6 sub-models, as follows: (A) milk market; (B) cows; (C) milk production; (D) energy and feed requirements by the animals; (E) economics; and (F) environmental impact. The last sub-model was aimed to encourage and strengthen the reduction of GHG emissions in dairy cattle farms by improving the milk production per cow. The carbon footprint of milk, (kg of CO2emitted /kg of milk), decreased proportionally to the milk production per cow, while the total amount of emissions were highest in the scenarios with highest milk production rate. Policies with public incentives on milk production improvement stimulated the milk consumption rate and reduced the carbon footprint of milk production.