Dairy farms fared well on economics with an average family farm income of €1,248/ha, but this ranged from €677/ha for the bottom cohort to €1,838/ha for the top cohort.
Dairy farms which performed best economically were reported to operate at higher intensities with higher greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions per hectare, contributing to an overall increase in emissions from the sector in 2020.
The use of LESS equipment averaged 51% across dairy farms surveyed, while protected urea use equated to an average of 5% of total chemical nitrogen use and was higher on the top performing farms.
Milk yield per cow and the average herd size have increased since 2015 and as yield increased the CO2e per kg of fat and protein corrected milk has declined.
Just 9% of farms were classified as vulnerable while 5% of dairy farmers were at risk of isolation.