Journal Article


Padraig O'Kiely
Tim Keady
Mark McGee
Eoghan Finneran
Paul Crosson
Joseph McEniry


Agriculture & Food Science

grass alternative applications biomass yield livestock ireland dairy production anaerobic digestion beef production silage

How much grassland biomass is available in Ireland in excess of livestock requirements? (2013)

Abstract Grassland is a dominant biomass resource in Ireland and underpins most animal productionsystems. However, other commercial uses for grassland biomass exist, including, for example, the production of biogas through anaerobic digestion for the generationof heat, electricity and transport fuel. The objective of this study was to estimatethe annual grassland resource available in Ireland in excess of livestock requirementsunder six contrasting scenarios. Under current grassland management and productionpractices there is an estimated average annual grassland resource of ca. 1.7 milliontonnes of dry matter (DM) available in excess of livestock requirements. Only a small proportion of this resource (0.39 million tonnes of DM per annum) would be available if the targets set out in ‘Food Harvest 2020’ were achieved. However, increasing nitrogen (N) fertiliser input (to the limit permitted by the E.U. Nitrates Directive) combined with increasing the grazed grass utilisation rate of cattle (from 0.60 to 0.80 kg DM ingested by livestock per kg DM grown) has the potential to significantly increase this average resource to 12.2 million t DM/annum, even when allowing for achievement of ‘Food Harvest 2020’ targets. Under these scenarios, alternative uses for grasslandbiomass such as anaerobic digestion and green biorefining would not compete withtraditional dairy, beef and lamb production systems, but could provide an alternativeenterprise and income to farmers.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> IJAFR, volume 52, no1, 2013
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Livestock Systems
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Grassland Science
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Animal & Grassland Research & Innovation Programme
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Irish Journal of Agricultural & Food Research

Full list of authors on original publication

Padraig O'Kiely, Tim Keady, Mark McGee, Eoghan Finneran, Paul Crosson, Joseph McEniry

Experts in our system

Padraig O'Kiely
Total Publications: 71
Mark McGee
Total Publications: 81
Paul Crosson
Total Publications: 16