Mixed crop-livestock farming was common in many areas of Europe. Nowadays, crop and livestock production are highly specialised and less connected. The consequences are, among others, high concentrations of animals in few regions, large imports of feed, simplification of crop rotations, high use of mineral fertilizers and pesticides, landscape homogenization and biodiversity loss.

Dairy production systems are an essential backbone of European agriculture, but they are particularly prone to these problems.

Circularity aims at closing the loop of resources. Context-specific (re)-integration of crop and livestock systems offers the possibility to reduce emissions and to use natural resources more efficiently. Linear approaches need to be complemented or replaced by more holistic approaches.

DairyMix is carrying out multi-criteria assessment, and developing decision support, modelling and management tools for sustainable circular mixed farming systems for dairy production.

Young cows Norway









Identify options to increase integration of crop-livestock-forestry with reduced GHG emissions and improved environmental, economic and social sustainability
Identify trade-offs and synergies between sustainability indicators of integrated crop-livestock-forestry systems and carry out a multi-criteria assessment
Develop concepts for carbon and nutrient flows, protein self-sufficiency and improved manure nutrient utilization for characteristic farm typologies and develop concepts for carbon and nutrient circularity
Assess the status of crop-forestry integration of European dairy production systems (DPS) in key regions for characteristic farm typologies using case study farms and Eurostat data
Refine the prototype of a low cost modular barn sensor framework and install it on case study farms for online monitoring of barn climate, barn climate management, emission control and improved animal welfare
Implement the results on a long-lasting platform for dissemination and stakeholder interaction, assisting dairy farmers and extension service in improving the circularity and sustainability of their DPS and providing information for consumers and the public on key concepts for circular, low emission and sustainable a DPS in European regions
Establish an inter- and transdisciplinary long-term multi-stakeholder partnership with scientists, farmers, farm advisors, industry, consumers and policy makers at European and international level for increased efficiency of integrated crop-livestock-forestry


Environmentally Friendly Opportunities and Charts a Path Toward Sustainability for Norwegian Dairy Farms

Dr. Habtamu Alem (NIBIO, Norway) has recently published two studies focused on Norwegian dairy farms. The first article “A parametric analysis of eco-efficiency and its determinants: Evidence from Norwegian dairy farms”, in The Journal of Agricultural Economics, examines the eco-efficiency of Norwegian dairy farms over 30 years, focusing on methane (CH4) emissions. Analyzing data from…

Reducing emissions and nutrient losses in European dairy production systems: Towards context specific and adapted solutions

Dairy production systems (DPS) across Europe face significant sustainability challenges. Among these, the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and nitrogen (N) losses is becoming increasingly crucial due to binding international agreements and legal requirements. However, given the diversity of DPS, the successful reduction of these negative impacts needs from tailored strategies and adapted…

Completion of sustainability indicator workshops

We’re pleased to announce that today marks the completion of our series of sustainability indicator weighting workshops. A sincere thank you to Emma Soule and her team at INRAE for their commendable work and effort! As we approach the summer holidays, we’re arranging individual meetings with each partner country. These sessions will be centered around discussing the…