State of Science :: Environment
Shades of Green: Quantifying the Benefits of Organic Dairy Production
Author(s): Charles Benbrook, Ph.D.
The Organic Center
A calculator has been developed to help consumers, dairy farmers, and food companies estimate the avoided environmental, public health, and animal welfare impacts associated with shifting dairy cows from conventional to organic management.
The "avoided impacts" stemming from applications of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides, and several classes of animal drugs can now be estimated for a single milking cow, a given herd of milking animals, across all cows in a region or all farms shipping to a given dairy processing company, or even for a gallon of milk.
The calculator is composed of a series of 10 Steps, each corresponding to a table in a Microsoft Excel workbook. Users of the calculator may add data reflecting conditions on a specific farm or set of farms, replacing the national average default values currently in the calcualtor.
The design of the calculator, the equations in it, and sources of input variable values are described in the "Shades of Green" report.
Individuals who wish to work with the calculator can receive the Excel workbook free of charge by sending an email to Charles Benbrook at <>email@example.com>.