The determination of the environmental footprint of a dairy farm is a complex operation that requires data collection and processing. The LIFE TTGG project provides farmers belonging to the Grana Padano PDO chain a software that reduces time needed to evaluate the environmental profile of their product, in order to make possible the comparison with the average impacts related to their production phase – the farm phase – and to identify viable ways to improve performance.
Software structure significantly facilitates the procedure needed to define the environmental footprint: the farmer is only required to enter data, while calculations are carried out independently by the computer system, in accordance with the European Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method.
In the eyes of the farmer, the environmental impact assessment is thus configured as a simple questionnaire divided into sections, each of which refers to a specific aspect of his activity – from herd information to energy used information, from the self-production of feeds to their finding on the market, up to the purchase of litter materials. Thanks to the constraint of sequential compilation of the questions, the structure of the questionnaire adapts dynamically to the answers entered by the farmer; in this way, it is avoided to ask the insert of superfluous data.
To ensure a correct compilation, at the beginning of each questionnaire is provided a summary downloadable document, that indicate the documentation where it is possible to find the information requested to the farmer in each section. Milk analysis, for example, are essential for the calculation of FPCM (fat protein corrected milk), a milk with standard characteristics that allows to compare the impact result of any farm. The chemical and fertilizer register, on the other hand, contains data necessary for the software to calculate the emissions of some pollutants linked to the self-production of feeds.
In the last section of the questionnaire, the farmer can visualize his own environmental performance results: in order to make them easier to understand, it is possible to download a summary Report that provides a description of graphs and tables shown.
The software will be available for use by Grana Padano PDO Consortium members from July 2022.
Source: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore