Research in farm management technologies using the expert method
¹Latvia University of Agriculture, Faculty of Engineering, Institute of Agriculture Machinery, J. Čakstes bulv. 5, LV-3001 Jelgava, Latvia
²Riga Technical University, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Institute of Computer Control, Automation and Computer Engineering, Daugavgrīvas iela 2, LV-1048 Rīga, Latvia
The task of the research was to state the most popular peculiarities of farm management technologies depending on the size of the herd in order to use the research results in calculations of greenhouse gas emissions. The research was performed applying the expert methods based on the farm management technologies as they are closely related to the size of the herd and the kind of the obtained farm manure. The expert method can be applied for research in farm management technologies of different animal species and groups, but in the present article only milk cow management technologies will be discussed as they produce the biggest amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The practice shows that on small farms the cows are tied, on medium farms – either tied or loose, but on large farms – only loose. On the farms where the cows are tied solid litter manure is obtained, but where the cows are handled loose – liquid manure is obtained. Besides, on the farms with a small herd the cows are pastured in summer and in this period manure spread in the pastures is produced. Stating the maximal size of the herd that is pastured and the length of the pasture period as well as the marginal size at which the transition from tied to loose handling takes place and additionally using the statistical data on the total number of cows in the country and the proportion of animals according to the size of the herd, it is possible to state from which proportion of milk cows solid litter is produced and from which – liquid manure. Therefore, the experts were given the task to name the marginal values of the above mentioned technology parameters based on the value intervals stated in advance. Thereupon that the experts had to state only one chosen value, it was not possible to apply the traditional expert evaluation methods and this method had to be adapted in accordance to the existing situation. The research results showed that in Latvia the critical size of the milk cow herd at which the transition from tied to loose handling takes place is 85 cows, the herds that are not larger than 90 cows are pastured but the pasture period lasts in average for 165 days.