Zoek medewerkers/organisaties SH Pishgar Komleh
Naam SH Pishgar Komleh

OmschrijvingOnderzoeker Veehouderij en omgeving
OrganisatieWageningen Livestock Research
Telefoon+31 317 481 608
Telefoon secretariaat+31 317 483 953
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BezoekadresDe Elst 1
PostadresPostbus 338
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Developing a tool to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of an elite competition horse throughout its whole life.
Analyzing GHG emissions within the sport horse sector is of growing importance in the context of environmental sustainability. Sport horse activities encompass various disciplines, including show jumping, dressage, and eventing, and often involve substantial resource consumption. Understanding and mitigating GHG emissions in this sector is crucial due to its impact on both local and global scales.

Analyzing GHG emissions in the sport horse sector can help identify areas where improvements in sustainability practices are needed. These may include aspects such as feed production, transportation of horses, and the energy-intensive nature of facilities like equestrian centers. By pinpointing these sources of emissions, stakeholders can develop strategies to reduce their carbon footprint, which aligns with broader sustainability goals.

A world-first study to calculate the equine emission “Hoofprint” has been carried out by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in partnership with the European Equestrian Federation (EEF).

The output of this study was "Hoofprint" calculator which is an Excel-based tool to quantify the GHG emissions of an elite competition horse throughout its whole life. Hoofprint calculates all the GHG emissions of reproduction, raising, and training for competition stages.

Hoofprint consists of various modules and databases namely:

  • Feed ingredient database; consists of nutritional value and specific characteristics of around 190 feed ingredients.
  • Feed carbon footprint database; includes the carbon footprint of around 190 feed ingredients.
  • Energy and materials database; consists of the carbon footprint of various energy sources and materials.
  • Transport database; includes carbon footprint of various road and air transport vehicles.
  • Herd module which calculates the number of foals, mares, and male horses in a simulated herd. Using the herd module, the animals required to maintain new foals in the reproduction stage can be calculated.
  • Stable emissions module calculates the emissions from enteric fermentation and manure management during reproduction, raising, and training for competition stages.

In the end, all GHG emissions are aggregated using the carbon footprint calculator module and reported as the carbon footprint of an elite sport horse throughout its whole life.

Are you interested to know more about Hoofprint? Then contact hassan.pishgarkomleh@wur.nl

Developing “Mitigation Engine”, a tool to quantify the impacts of greenhouse gas mitigation strategies in the dairy farming system

The livestock sector plays a significant role in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Mitigating GHG emissions in the dairy sector is an imperative environmental and sustainability challenge. Dairy production, while providing essential nutrition globally, is associated with significant emissions of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) carbon dioxide (CO2) from enteric fermentation, manure management, and feed production. Efforts to mitigate the impact of livestock on GHG emissions include many practices which aim to reduce emissions from the livestock sector and mitigate its contribution to climate change. There are many challenges that make the quantification of mitigation strategies more complicated:

  • Dairy is a complex production system and any small change in the production factors might have an impact on other production factors and the productivity of the whole dairy farm.
  • There are synergies and tradeoffs between the mitigation strategies which makes quantification of GHG reduction potential more complicated.
  • The potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, as documented in the literature, is contingent on particular circumstances and, consequently, may differ from one farm to another.

In this situation, we need a decision-supporting tool that can consider all consequences based on the life cycle assessment approach. Wageningen Livestock Research together with Unilever started a project to develop a decision support tool that makes it possible to quantify the impacts of various mitigation strategies for the dairy sector. Together with my colleague Theun Vellinga we worked on this idea and developed Mitigation Engine in which the GHG reduction potential and the cost-effectiveness of mitigation strategies can be quantified.

Various measures were considered in Mitigation Engine such as feeding-related measures (application of feed additives (Bovaer and SilvAir), grazing, compound feed adjustment, diet adjustment), animal management-related measures (increasing longevity, increasing productivity (milk per animal), improving animal health), manure management-related measures (regular emptying of manure storage, primary separation, digester), Land management-related measures (sowing clover on grasslands, grassland management, rotation of grass-maize, less application of mineral fertilizers, nitrogen fertilizer with a low carbon footprint, increasing grass and maize yield, use of diesel fuel with a low carbon footprint), energy-related measures (production and use of renewable energies, reduction of energy losses).

The advantages of Mitigation Engine are:

  • Farm-specific model which is connected to a monitoring tool (KLW or ANCA)
  • Metamodel which uses results of other models in a simplified form
  • Considers the interactions
  • Users can see the impacts of measures and play with the tool
  • Updatable easily
  • User-friendliness

Mitigation Engine is under testing and improvement in “Low Carbon Dairy: working together on a 50% reduction of the footprint of milk” project where Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s and CONO Cheesemakers, Nestlé, Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods, Agrifirm, ForFarmers and De Heus and Duynie (supplier of co-products), Lely (robots and data systems for dairy farms), and Rabobank are also participating.

If you are interested in knowing more about Mitigation Engine, please contact: hassan.pishgarkomleh@wur.nl

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