There are many options for managing farm greenhouse gas emissions as part of a profitable dairy business. However there is also a lot of complex information and some confusion. In the following resources we explain the various options for and benefits of reducing dairy emissions, for profitability, productivity and environmental gains.

Climate change and dairy
Emissions and dairy
Managing climate risk

Climate change and dairy (PDF) 

CSIRO (2016) Climate change impacts on Australian dairy regions. Report for Dairy Australia (PDF) 

For full list of NRM resources available to the dairy sector see the NRM Resources Review v1.1 2016 (PDF)


Emissions management FAQs (PDF) 

Australian dairy farms and emissions (PDF) 

Sources of GHG emissions in dairy (PDF)

Case study - Reducing emissions - Hunt (PDF)

Case study - Reducing emissions - Williams (PDF)

Presentation: GHG emissions data - Graeme Ward (PPTX)

Dairy carbon calculator (PDF)

See the Managing climate risk page.

Effluent management
Feed efficiency
Reproduction efficiency

Getting effluent management right - underpinning science (PDF) and dairy farmer (PDF)

Effluent as fertiliser (PDF)

Keep it low - managing manure to reduce emissions (PDF)

Case study - Managing the most of effluent (PDF)

Presentation: Methane from effluent ponds - Scott Birchall (PDF)


Managing diet and pasture - underpinning science (PDF) and dairy farmer (PDF)

High quality feed (PDF)

Forage crops for dairy (PDF)

Green seeker (PDF)

Case study - Managing diet and pasture (PDF)

Case study - Feed additives (PDF)

Pasture digestibility (PDF) 

High quality kikuyu pastures (PDF)

Herd breeding and management - underpinning science (PDF) and dairy farmer (PDF)

Using genetics to reduce emissions (PDF)

Taking care of cows (PDF)

Case study - Using genetics to increase profit and reduce emissions (PDF)

Presentation: Reproduction - Dairy Futures CRC (PDF)

Nitrogen management
Soil management

Getting more out of nitrogen - underpinning science (PDF) and dairy farmer (PDF)

Wet areas on dairy farms (PDF)

Case study - Nitrogen management (PDF)

Presentation - Nitrogen management - Richard Eckard (PDF)

Presentation: Understanding nitrogen fertiliser use in dairy systems - Richard Rawnsley (PDF)

Presentation: Nitrogen use efficiency - Peter Beale (PDF)

Soil testing - know your soils  (PDF)

Designing drainage (PDF)

Doing a Fert$mart plan (PDF)

Presentation: Phosphorus - P Fert recommendations and accounting for PBI - Bill Cotching (PPTX)

Fact sheet: Understanding soil carbon (PDF) 

Water logging costs production (PDF) 

Soil fertility mapping (PDF)

Planning for variable rate irrigation (PDF)

Presentation: Pumps and irrigation systems (PDF)

Presentation: Irrigation system efficiency (PPTX)

Variable speed drive (PDF) 

Hump and hollow drainage (PDF) 

Managing heat stress
Use of shelter belts on dairy farms  Composting and GHG emissions 

Cool Cows website (external link) - Strategies for managing heat stress in dairy cows

Dairy Heat Alert Service (external link) - Subscribe to receive alerts for heat events over the summer season

Keeping cows cool (PDF)

Designing shelter belts for dairy farms (PDF)

Preparation for planting shelter belts on dairy farms (PDF)

Direct seeding of shelter belts on dairy farms (PDF)

Species selection for shelter belts on dairy farms (PDF)

Case study: Shelter belts on hill country - Tracey & Wayne Stanfield (PDF)

Case study: Dairy farm shelter belts ... 20 years on - Daryl & Fay Sinclair (PDF)

Case study: Direct seeding shelter belts with Damien Moore (PDF)

Case study: Tree belts for shade and shelter on an irrigated dairy farm - Mike Farrant (PDF)

Composting and GHG emissions (PDF)

Presentation: Incorporating effluent and other organic fertilisers into nutrient management plans (PDF)

Presentation: Composts, organic fertilisers and biosecurity (PDF)

Presentation: Organic fertilisers (PDF)

Presentation: Sourcing, making and using composts on farm (PDF)


Dairy Businesses for Future Climates

The Dairy Businesses for Future Climates (DBFC) interdisciplinary research project set out to explore how three different dairy farm systems in Gippsland, Tasmania and South Australia may perform under predicted climate changes out to 2040. The project completed June 2016. 

Research findings

Dairy Businesses for Future Climates – National Research Findings 2016 (PDF, 3MB) Dairy Businesses for Future Climates – Gippsland Research Findings 2016 (PDF, 4MB) Dairy Businesses for Future Climates – Tasmanian Research Findings 2016 (PDF, 4MB) Dairy Businesses for Future Climates – South Australian Research Findings 2016 (PDF, 4MB)

Videos and presentations

Research reports and publications

Smarter Energy Use - Program outputs

The Smarter energy use program delivered energy efficiency information as well as conducting ~1,400 energy assessments on dairy farms across Australia. The program completed in June 2015 and below is a compilation of the outputs specific to the dairy industry.

Reducing energy use - tools and examples

Options for renewable energy

Energy monitoring

Analysis of on-farm energy data

Smarter Energy Use program evaluation

Additional external energy resources


Climate and Weather Information


Other Programs and Projects

Dairying for Tomorrow

Whole farm systems analysis research program

Cool Cows – dealing with heat stress in Australian dairy herds

Managing Climate Variability Program – improves forecasting and develops tools for Australian producers to better respond to climate variability

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility

CSIRO Climate Adaptation Research 

Climate Change Research Program (completed June 2012) - Outcomes from the program are still available here

Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture – an independent alliance launched in Sept 2014 at the UN Climate Summit, dedicated to addressing the challenges facing food security and agriculture under a changing climate.