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Main research question/goal

The KOELANG project is about climate mitigation of the dairy sector, together with a research and awareness-raising objective. Via data research (on the basis of figures that were previously generated in other ILVO projects) we answer the question of which management adjustments on the dairy farms lead to which possible savings in terms of methane emissions (at farm level). For example, we will look at the time of the first calving and the longevity of cows. The sensitization of livestock farmers is done through learning networks (discussion groups) of dairy farmers. Through a Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) approach, the partners work together with the participating companies for an improved young stock breeding and lower replacement percentage.

Research approach

ILVO has built up a large dataset with methane emission figures about dairy cattle in Flanders (young stock, productive cattle and dry cows). Based on these data, we calculated the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of 4 cases: 1. Longer productive life with equal production, 2. Longer productive life with enhanced production, 3. Better life production by improved efficiency and 4. Younger age at first calving. Within work packages 2 and 3, ILVO sets up learning networks for consciousness raising and climate-friendly behavioral changes. From the learning networks set up by the partners, motivated farms are taught the best practices regarding improved youngstock rearing and optimization of transition management.


The aim of this project is to spur a voluntary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by Flemish dairy farmers with no loss in the amount of milk produced, via more knowledge-driven and improved business management. We expect the farmer to achieve a much deeper understanding of the greenhouse gas emission problem in Flemish dairy farming. By calculating the impact of an extended lifespan on greenhouse gas emissions in the Flemish situation, we hope to trigger voluntary participation. Informational efforts include at least 5 articles in the trade press. A digital toolbox for Flemish dairy farmers is developed. Finally, a knowledge-sharing event is planned during the VEETOURNEE (a Flemish ag informational initiative) and via a popularized summary document.
In terms of information dissemination, we plan at least 5 press articles in the trade press. There will also be a digital toolbox for Flemish dairy farmers. Finally, knowledge sharing is planned during the VEETOERNEE (a Flemish ag-extension initiative) and via a final informational booklet.

Funding provider(s)
Vlaamse Overheid - L&V ADLO
Effective start/end date1/04/1730/06/19

ID: 6173796