CS01: Expanding legume based pasture uptake

Agriculture in Ireland is an important source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Removal of the milk quota has stimulated a rapid increase in milk output, making it more difficult to meet GHG reduction targets. There are substantial possibilities for lowering GHG emissions from dairy farms while maintaining profitability.


The objective is to evaluate the feasibility of a Low Carbon (LC) System of milk production, while maintaining current levels of milk output per ha and profitability. This will involve the design and implementation of a LC System using the best available 'off the shelf' technologies. GHG emissions from this system will be quantified and compared with the Moorepark blueprint (control) and with the Irish national average.


The LC system will consist of 24 of the most efficient dairy cows that will be fed primarily on white-clover rich permanent grassland dependent on very low external inputs. The carbon footprint of both systems will be determined using life cycle assessment (LCA) along with field-based measurements. The economic consequences will be evaluated.

More information:

Type of legumes: Clover

Type of farming system: Livestock, conventional


Case Study Leader: Agriculture and Food Development authority (TEAGASC), Ireland

Contact person: James Humphreys, Teagasc, AGRIP, Moorepark, Fermoy Co. Cork, Ireland P61 C996.