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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Cattle Farming


This project has designed and implemented improved processes for the use of cattle by-products. It has improved the sustainability and competitiveness and reduced the environmental impact of the cattle breeding sectors in three Spanish regions.



The evolution of the cattle breeding industry has led to a significant intensification of production systems, which has resulted in improved yields for farms and a constantly increasing rate of competitiveness. Yet, these developments have been inseparable from an increase in by-products generated on farms, which is seen as the main factor limiting the growth of this sector. This project was conceived to address this major constraint in three autonomous communities with large agricultural holdings.


The main objective of the project was to design and disseminate eco-management systems, specifically for organic agricultural waste, with the aim of reducing the negative environmental effect of agricultural farms. The project also aimed to promote the development of innovative systems for managing purines deriving from livestock farms (pork, poultry and bovine), which are respectful of and compatible with the environment.

Main activities

The project began with the drafting of an inspection report. This was followed by a process to identify the best use of by-products which involved; sample characterisation, farm compost production with analysis of the different compost samples, the application of the compost to the land, and an energy evaluation of cattle waste through anaerobic co-digestion. Subsequently a website was created and a composting manual developed. Finally the ideas and processes developed were disseminated.

Results & Benefits

This project led to many economic, social and environmental benefits, improving the environmental awareness of cattle farmers and reducing the impact of organic waste on the environment by decreasing their emissions. Through the increased use of renewable energies, the competitiveness of the farms has increased, the end value of waste improved, and there is a greater capacity of cultivation soils as carbon sinks. Thus the project contributed to mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

Lessons learnt

One of the keys to success was having the farmers’ participate in the project’s decision-making bodies as they could submit questions to overcome difficulties that arose in the pilot schemes and assist in the evaluation of problems that emerged. Involving administrations at the local level was also vital. Communication and dissemination were essential due to the reluctance of the farming industry to changes and the incorporation of innovations.

Project location and other information

Pontevedra, Galicia Región de Murcia Cáceres and Badajoz in the Extremadura region



RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

104 818

EAFRD contribution (€)

56 602

National contribution (€)

56 602

Private contribution (€)

10 482

Project website

Contact name

Javier Barreiro


+34 981534605, +34 981534512

Languages for contact


At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Individual farmers, Public/local authorities

Budget range

€20 000 - €99 999

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Competitiveness of Agriculture & Forestry
• Promoting knowledge and improving human potential
• 115. Setting up of management, relief and advisory services


Bioenergy, By-product, Cattle, Climate action, Composting

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