Cutting the gas: How to slash methane emissions

By Christian BlockLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Something has to be done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. But what? The draft of the new energy and climate plan lists many, mainly technical answers. But an overall vision is still lacking.

Anne-Sophie Steichen pushes open the gate to the shelter and switches off the power at the fence. The visitors on this May day arouse the interest of the black Angus cattle grazing in the meadow. They are mothers and calves. The bulls at the back of the meadow, however, are unimpressed. It's probably for the best.

The Steichen-Berens family farm is one of 23 in the country that market entrecôte, fillets and co. under the "Naturschutz Fleesch" label. The family in the municipality of Weiler-la-Tour switched from a dairy farm with a milking robot and the like to an extensive meat farm in 2016. "At some point, the question arose as to how we could make good use of the land, " explains Anne-Sophie Steichen. Because there is also a bird sanctuary nearby, "the idea of extensive year-round grazing" was developed in dialogue with the nature and forestry administration. This is a biodiversity programme launched by the administration, which is intended to serve the "practical implementation of nature conservation objectives" in the Grand Duchy, as stated on the agricultural portal.

Since then, the farm has kept around 100 head of cattle on the large plots throughout the year – 30 dams, two bulls and their offspring. The approximately 65 hectares of land are necessary because the family farm in the south-east of the country can only distribute additional feed during the winter months. "Apart from hay, we don't add anything, " explains Steichen, who works full-time in finance and wants to continue running the farm, even if this plan has not yet been finalised down to the last detail.

You want more? Get access now.

  • One-year subscription

  • Monthly subscription

  • Zukunftsabo for subscribers under the age of 26


Already have an account?

Log in