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CO2 – Emission, costs and capacity of different manure management practices- results from an advisory project

Hansen, Bjørn Gunnar
Agricultural systems 2019 v.173 pp. 325-334
agricultural policy, animal manure management, carbon dioxide, consultants, data analysis, farmers, farmers' attitudes, farms, greenhouse gas emissions, hoses, regression analysis, transportation, Norway
The aims of this paper are to explore which factors explain; (i) the management practices dairy farmers choose for transportation and application of manure; (ii) the CO2 emission from transportation and application of manure; (iii) the cost of different manure management practices; and (iv) the capacity of manure management. Data on manure management practices and associated costs were collected through on- farm visits and talks with 189 dairy farmers in all regions of Norway in 2017. Farmers had signed up for and advisory project, and the farm visits were performed by consultants in Norwegian Advisory service and Tine. To analyze data we use shrinkage regression methods together with boosting, bagging and random forests.The findings show that manure quantity, transportation distance from storage to fields, capacity of the management practice and farmer's owner- share of machinery are key variables which influence farmer's choice of manure management practices, CO2– emissions and costs. Transportation and spreading through hoses appears to be the most efficient way to increase capacity. The findings have implications for dairy farmers who consider investment in manure management system, and for agricultural policy.