Links between profitability, nitrogen surplus, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy intensity on organic and conventional dairy farms

| Type artikkel: Publisert studie
This study examines the relationships between profitability, nitrogen (N) surplus, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and energy intensity and factors influencing these relationships in dairy farming. In-depth data from 10 conventional and 8 organic dairy farms in Western Norway were analyzed. Organic farms had lower N surplus per hectare (local, on-farm) and per unit output (global, cradle-to-farm-gate), and lower estimated GHG emissions and energy intensity per unit output, whereas labor input and farm profits did not differ.

Higher profitability tended to be associated with improved performance of the environmental indicators examined. Intensification through increased use of concentrates tended to improve profit and reduce N surplus, GHG emissions, and energy intensity per unit output within each farming system while N surplus per hectare could be negatively affected. To ensure a balanced representation of the environmental consequences of both organic and conventional farming systems, our results give support to extensive examination of both area- and product-based environmental performance indicators.