The production phase of the milk at the barn, also in cases in which is bound by precise rules imposed by a product regulation, as the case of Grana Padano DOP cheese, is a complex and not standardized system, differently from other supply chain production phases. Multiple aspects contribute to differentiate the farms for environmental footprints.
The Università Cattolica of Piacenza (UCSC), by analysing the information collected in milk farms within the Life TTGG project, highlighted that the factors of higher impact are caused by emissions linked to enteric fermentations, food and animal feed purchase and management of livestock effluents.
On the emissions point of view, a good management and formulation of nutrition diets administered to suckler cows, the use of low-input food and an enhancement of zootechnical effluent with a fertilizing purpose at an agronomic level, allow the reduction of the environmental impacts at the barn phase, preserving, at the same time, the production efficiency and the milk quality, optimizing the economic performances as well.
The first mitigating measures interested the study on nutrition diets administered to cows. The samples of food at the barn, and the following analysis that have been essential to define the qualitative and nutritional characteristics, showed that the quality of the food influences the digestible energy of nutrition diets.
Higher is the quality, higher is their digestibility, also of the diet. This results in an improvement of the production efficiency, bringing environmental benefits throughout a reduction of the enteric fermentation methane and the management of livestock effluents.
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