• Energy Consumption on Dairy Farms: A Review of Monitoring, Prediction Modelling, and Analyses

      Shine, Philip; Upton, John; Sefeedpari, Paria; Murphy, Michael D.; Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland; 18/RDD/317 (MDPI AG, 2020-03-10)
      The global consumption of dairy produce is forecasted to increase by 19% per person by 2050. However, milk production is an intense energy consuming process. Coupled with concerns related to global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, increasing the production of milk must be met with the sustainable use of energy resources, to ensure the future monetary and environmental sustainability of the dairy industry. This body of work focused on summarizing and reviewing dairy energy research from the monitoring, prediction modelling and analyses point of view. Total primary energy consumption values in literature ranged from 2.7 MJ kg−1 Energy Corrected Milk on organic dairy farming systems to 4.2 MJ kg−1 Energy Corrected Milk on conventional dairy farming systems. Variances in total primary energy requirements were further assessed according to whether confinement or pasture-based systems were employed. Overall, a 35% energy reduction was seen across literature due to employing a pasture-based dairy system. Compared to standard regression methods, increased prediction accuracy has been demonstrated in energy literature due to employing various machine-learning algorithms. Dairy energy prediction models have been frequently utilized throughout literature to conduct dairy energy analyses, for estimating the impact of changes to infrastructural equipment and managerial practices
    • Multiple linear regression modelling of on-farm direct water and electricity consumption on pasture based dairy farms

      Shine, Philip; Scully, Ted; Upton, John; Murphy, Michael D.; Institutes of Technology Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (Elsevier, 2018-03-05)
      An analysis into the impact of milk production, stock numbers, infrastructural equipment, managerial procedures and environmental conditions on dairy farm electricity and water consumption using multiple linear regression (MLR) modelling was carried out. Electricity and water consumption data were attained through the utilisation of a remote monitoring system installed on a study sample of 58 pasture-based, Irish commercial dairy farms between 2014 and 2016. In total, 15 and 20 dairy farm variables were analysed on their ability to predict monthly electricity and water consumption, respectively. The subsets of variables that had the greatest prediction accuracy on unseen electricity and water consumption data were selected by applying a univariate variable selection technique, all subsets regression and 10-fold cross validation. Overall, electricity consumption was more accurately predicted than water consumption with relative prediction error values of 26% and 49% for electricity and water, respectively. Milk production and the total number of dairy cows had the largest impact on electricity consumption while milk production, automatic parlour washing and whether winter building troughs were reported to be leaking had the largest impact on water consumption. A standardised regression analysis found that utilising ground water for pre-cooling milk increased electricity consumption by 0.11 standard deviations, while increasing water consumption by 0.06 standard deviations when recycled in an open loop system. Milk production had a large influence on model overprediction with large negative correlations of −0.90 and −0.82 between milk production and mean percentage error for electricity and water prediction, respectively. This suggested that overprediction was inflated when milk production was low and vice versa. Governing bodies, farmers and/or policy makers may use the developed MLR models to calculate the impact of Irish dairy farming on natural resources or as decision support tools to calculate potential impacts of on-farm mitigation practises.