Farm activity input data analysis from suckler cow system
Keywords:suckler cows, beef, GHG, production efficiency, sustainability indicators
This paper aims to provide an overview of the suckler beef cow production system in Slovakia and its implications for greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and ammonia. The study collected data from 24 farms with a total of 3,745 sucker cows in 2021, representing a variety of breeding practices and breeds used for production of weaned calves. The results shown that the farms breeding Charolaise had the lowest proportion (0.61, n=8) of permanent grassland from all land managed in contrast to Pinzgau (0.73, n=2) or Limousine (0.76, n=9) in this database. Preference of winter calving season prevailed representing 38 % of all cows (12 farms, 1415 cows) which had achieved calving rate 0.82 ± 0.13 of calf per cow and calving interval 420±35 days. In the contrast, farms that were not specific about preferred calving season reached rate 0.73±0.14 of calf per cow and calving interval 407±26 days. Mean average daily gain was 0.978 ± 0.23 g day-1 and age at weaning 188±48 days. Emission factors were 15.15 ± 3.7, 109.7± 9.3 and 0.800±0.07 kg of ammonia, methane and nitrous oxide for cow per year. Present study helps to identify information gaps on various factors such as forage quality, grazing practices, feed rations, and reproductive stage. Data on these variables even from a relatively small number of farms would provide opportunities to overcome the challenges to evaluate on-farm GHG mitigations and their trade-offs.
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