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Biodiversity and milk production: A brief analysis by the Öko-Institut and the IfLS on the links between milk production systems in Germany and biodiversity

The various forms of grassland in Germany are of outstanding importance for biodiversity. At the same time, the preservation of existing grassland is threatened.

One of the main reasons for the decline of species-rich grassland is the change in dairy production systems in Germany: the decline in dairy cows as utilisers of grassland growth plays a role, as does the increase in dairy cow performance in recent decades, which has been associated with higher demands on forage and intensification of grassland use, and the abandonment of use on marginal land, as a result of which grassland sites are being lost through scrub encroachment and forestation.

Against this background, the working paper looks at the relationship between dairy production systems and biodiversity from different perspectives: What constitutes milk production systems in Germany? How does the practice of dairy farms relate to biodiversity? What is the relationship between biodiversity and economic aspects? What is the context between biodiversity and society? Finally, the opportunities and challenges for improving biodiversity in dairy production systems are highlighted and conclusions are derived.

The publication is available her [in german].

Contact at IfLS: Jörg Schramek (schramek[at]