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Dairy Farm System Simulation for Assessment of Climate Change Impacts in Ireland

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  033005,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14045) @2003
Authors:   J.B. Fitzgerald, A.J. Brereton, N.M. Holden
Keywords:   climate change, agriculture, grassland, Ireland, modeling, dairy production

The effect of climate change on grassland agriculture has important implications for the livestock industry in Ireland. A program, Grass_sim was developed to simulate dairy farm systems with the weather as the main driving factor dictating grass growth. The simulator was designed for assessing the impact of climate change on milk production. It was necessary to test the sensitivity to spatially optimize Grass_sim before using it for investigating climate change impacts.

Grass_sim was found to be suitably sensitive to variation in stocking rate and nitrogen application, and responded in a manner similar to real farms to most management decisions. It was also found to be sensitive to geographic location in Ireland suggesting management strategies in accordance with differences in current practice found around the country. The simulator was shown to function reliably for the range of baseline climates found in Ireland.

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