3 ways to integrate sustainability goals into your milk production


As the dairy industry becomes increasingly focused on sustainable dairy farming, the pressure to deliver even more, high quality milk, with minimal impact on the environment increases. But despite a willingness to reduce the climate impact on milk production, the way forward can be a challenge.


One way forward is getting better control of herd health. Studies show that disease in dairy herds can be linked to an increase of GHG emissions per kg of milk produced, due to production loss, discarded milk, prolonged calving periods and removal of diseased cows. 


Despite the advances of recent decades, the spread of diseases such as mastitis and ketosis in dairy herds remains a major problem for farmers and the dairy industry in general and losses in milk production amount to billions of Euros per year. While there is no doubt that reducing milk loss and improving longevity of cows has a financial benefit for farmers, how does that translate into reducing climate impact? 


Besides the financial impact, every liter of milk that is wasted due to quality issues or due to diseased animals not producing milk, has a negative impact on the climate. The cow produces methane under any circumstance, thus GHG emission per liter of milk is significantly lower in cows with high performance (i.e., annual milk production) compared to low performing cows. 


So, how do we improve disease management? 

With modern herd management tools, cases of cattle disease such as mastitis and ketosis can be caught early on. Using a combination of Somatic Cell Count and Differential Somatic Cell Count, these tools provide even more detailed insights, allowing farmers to adjust and optimize daily herd management for better udder health, reduced use of antibiotics and reduced milk waste.


Regular monitoring using DHI samples, provides farmers with vital knowledge that allows them to intervene by optimizing the feeding and management of dry and transition cows. Through regular monitoring it is possible to reduce the loss of productivity and prevent a high prevalence of disease in dairy herds while minimizing climate impact. 


Other strategies to reduce climate impact include optimizing your feeding strategy and monitoring fatty acids in the milk to minimize the release of excess nitrogen and methane into the environment.


Read our sustainability guide to understand the link between herd health and climate impact and learn more about the practical steps you can take to start making your milk production more sustainable.


Guide: A sustainable future for dairy

Guide: A sustainable future for dairy

RMT Sustainability ebook

The dairy industry is becoming more concerned about reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and moving towards more sustainable dairy farming. This means that dairy farms are under pressure to deliver even more, high quality milk, with minimal impact on the environment. In this guide, we’ve gathered some practical insights that might help to make your dairy farming more sustainable, already today.

Please provide your first name
Please provide your last name
Please provide a valid email address
Please provide company name
Please provide your job title
Please provide country code
Please provide state code

Something went wrong!

Sorry, we were not able to send your form.

Are you ready to make your dairy farming more sustainable?

Get in touch with our specialists to discuss how you can improve disease management, increase your financial gains and reduce the climate impact of your dairy farming. Let's talk