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Keywords:

  • dairy farm;
  • cow housing;
  • energy ratio;
  • energy use efficiency;
  • freestall housing;
  • loose housing

Energy use is an important consideration for developing more sustainable agricultural practices. Identifying animal production methods that maximize energy efficiency and minimize greenhouse gas emissions is vital. This study determined the energy use and the energy use efficiency (EUE) of two specialized dairy farms with different barn planning systems in Konya, Turkey. Total energy use included both the direct energy and indirect energy consumed during the production of farm inputs. This study investigated changes in energy use and EUE between Dairy Farm A, with a freestall dairy cattle housing system (ADF), and Dairy Farm B, with loose housing systems (BDF).

The results showed that animal feed accounted for a high percentage of total energy use and that electricity comprised the major portion of the direct energy used on both farms. The total energy use per hectare was lower for ADF compared with BDF. The energy productivity of the farms was set at 5.4 L milk per 100 MJ−1and 3.9 L milk per 100 MJ−1 for energy use on ADF and BDF, respectively. EUE was highly dependent on the energy inputs. For that reason, it is recommended that freestall dairy cattle barns be used for dairy cattle breeding and milk production. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 32: 1202–1208, 2013