Resource Efficient Farm Management
Distance Learning will begin May 2017
Drawing on resource efficiency expertise at Bangor University and a wide range of best practice guidance and decision support tools for the farming sector, this module will apply a systems approach to quantitatively evaluate farm management practices. This will provide an evidence base to select relevant practices that maximise resource efficiency and minimise environmental impact for a range of pasture based farm systems.
Drawing on life-cycle assessment expertise at Bangor University and a wide range of best practice guidance and decision support tools for the farming sector, this module will apply a systems approach to evaluate the resource efficiency effects of specific farm management practices. The module will provide detailed insight into how management practices influence production efficiency at the process, farm and product level. Students will be guided through practical exercises using a range of decision support tools to validate priority management practices for pasture-based farms – highlighting effective options to maximise resource efficiency and productivity, and to minimise environmental impact.
The module’s units consist of:
- Introduction to resource efficiency – overview of resource use and environmental pressures in pasture-based food production.
- Systems approach to farm management – life cycle assessment; carbon foot-printing; water foot-printing; energy and resource flows.
- Nutrient management – soil testing; farm, field and crop nutrient budgeting.
- Soil and water management – land-use planning (erosion risk maps); organic amendments and cover crops; soil preparation; rainwater harvesting.
- Grass management – nutrient management on grasslands; efficient silage production; grazing control.
- Animal husbandry and feed – animal breed selection and health plans; herd and flock profile management; efficient feed strategies.
- Feed-sourcing and green procurement – ration optimisation; feed supply chains; fertiliser selection and use.
- Manure management – efficient animal housing and manure storage infrastructure; manure management to improve nutrient use efficiency.
- Energy efficiency – energy efficiency measures; renewable energy generation opportunities on farms.
- Integrated resource efficiency – anaerobic digestion case study; identifying key performance indicators and management practices for farm efficiency.
Contributions from: Dr Dave Styles, Prof Dave Chadwick, Prof Kevin Shingfield, Dr Iwan Owen, Dr Neil MacKintosh, Campbell Skinner, Jack Sagar.
Student Comment: "Ties up a lot of the areas I work with everyday and was very relevant to my job." Diana Allen, Director QMN Ltd
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