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Evaluating environmental impacts of the Japanese beef cow-calf system by the life cycle assessment method: ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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Abstract

The objectives of this study were to evaluate the environmental impacts of a beef cow–calf system using a life cycle assessment (LCA) method and to investigate the effects of scenarios to reduce environmental impacts on the LCA results. The functional unit was defined as one marketed beef calf, and the processes associated with the cow–calf life cycle, such as feed production, feed transport, animal management, the biological activity of the animal and the treatment of cattle waste were included in the system boundary. The present results showed that the total contributions of one beef calf throughout its life cycle to global warming, acidification, eutrophication and energy consumption were 4550 kg of CO2 equivalents, 40.1 kg of SO2 equivalents, 7.0 kg of phosphate (PO4) equivalents and 16.1 GJ, respectively. The contribution of each process to the total environmental impact in each environmental impact category showed a similar tendency to the contribution of each process in each environmental category reported in the case of the beef fattening system as a whole. The results from this analysis showed that shortening calving intervals by 1 month reduced environmental impacts by 5.7–5.8% in all the environmental impact categories examined in the current study, and increasing the number of calves per cow also reduced environmental impacts in all the categories, although the effects were smaller.

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... Schils et al, 2005) y modelos de evaluación de ciclos de vida (ej. Ogino et al, 2004Ogino et al, , 2007Thomassen et al, 2008). Sin embargo, aun tratándose de modelos distin tos, en el caso que los supuestos subyacentes de análisis sean los mismos (por ejemplo, límites, unidad funcional, método de asignación, factores de emisión), se espera que ambos proporcionen resultados similares . ...
... Las diferencias entre estas evaluaciones se basan fundamentalmente en la elección de la unidad de referencia o indicadores (Unidad Funcional en el caso de ACV) y el límite del sistema a estudiar, en su forma de modelación y, fundamentalmente, en que las evaluaciones de ACV ofrecen la posibilidad de clasificar las cargas ambientales (emisiones y consumos de recursos) y asignarlas a una categoría de impacto ambiental específica (ej. calentamiento global, eutroficación, acidificación, consumo de energía) (Ogino et al, 2007). Sin embargo, independientemente de la metodología, distintos autores destacan que se requieren métodos eficientes que combinen indicadores adecuados y que permitan comprender y evaluar los impactos ambientales (Haas et al, 2001;Halberg et al, 2005). ...
... El borde geográfico es la tranquera del establecimiento". Asimismo, las emisiones de la producción de insumos externos al establecimiento (en particular, fertilizantes y alimentos concentrados) pueden ser incluidas tanto en los modelos de análisis de sistemas como en los ACV (Phetterplace et al, 2001;Ogino et al, 2004;Schils et al, 2005;Olesen et al, 2006;Ogino et al, 2007;Pelletier et al, 2010;Beukes et al, 2010; Cuadros 2 y 3). Los estudios mencionados en los Cuadros 2 y 3 realizaron evaluaciones hasta la tranquera y en su mayoría anuales, excepto Beauchemin et al (2010) cuyo estudio involucró varios años ya que usó la vida útil de la vaca como tiempo de referencia. ...
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En Argentina, los gases de efecto invernadero (GEI) provenientes del sector ganadero no tienen aún una incidencia directa en el valor del producto o en la definición de políticas sectoriales de mitigación. Por tal motivo, en la actualidad las investigaciones locales del tema son incipientes aunque de creciente interés. Sin embargo, por las señales que surgen a nivel internacional es indudable que los efectos del cambio climático (CC) sobre los sistemas productivos requerirán una mayor atención local. El CC está relacionado con las concentraciones de GEI en la atmósfera, como el dióxido de carbono (CO2), el metano (CH4) y el óxido nitroso (N2O). A nivel nacional, se le atribuye al sector ganadero en su totalidad el 30% de las emisiones antropogénicas de GEI, las cuales provienen mayoritariamente (26%) de vacunos para producción de carne. Debido a que la unidad decisional productiva es la empresa y es donde se pueden aplicar medidas de mitigación, un primer paso es cuantificar las emisiones a nivel de establecimiento. Los modelos a nivel de establecimiento ganadero (MEG) son herramientas utilizadas para predecir efectos de cambios de manejo e interacciones entre factores a este nivel, así como para la cuantificación de medidas de mitigación. Las estimaciones de las emisiones para los sistemas de cría, recría y/o engorde y ciclo completo están en el orden de 22,4-37,5, 6,3-32,2 y 15,9-36,4 kg CO2 equivalente/kg res, respectivamente. Esta información se basa en bibliografía internacional, ya que Argentina cuenta aún con información parcial y preliminar sobre estimaciones similares para bovinos para carne. La primera parte de esta revisión se centra en describir las principales emisiones y sumideros de GEI presentes a nivel de establecimiento en sistemas pastoriles de producción bovina para carne de clima templado. En la segunda parte, se presentan distintos estudios internacionales basados en MEG como una estrategia de abordaje para la evaluación y/o mitigación de GEI. La bibliografía destaca la importancia de una evaluación holística de las emisiones de GEI por unidad de producto, utilizando modelos MEG o de análisis de ciclo de vida, contrastados con la información de campo disponible. Las mejoras en la eficiencia productiva de sistemas de producción de carne de Argentina, muy por debajo de sistemas pastoriles de países desarrollados, ofrecen interesantes oportunidades de mitigación con el debido estímulo de políticas específicas.
... The reason behind such dramatic difference lies in many aspects of agricultural and beef production systems of different countries. For example, the fattening of beef cows in Japan requires much higher energy investments than in Sweden (169 MJ/kgbeef [41] vs 25.9 MJ/kgbeef [38], respectively). ...
... Amount of GHGs emitted per mass of beef produced in different countries[37,38,39,40,41]. * California Angus beef; ** Kobe beef. ...
... En la producción ganadera, el mayor consumo energético proviene de la alimentación del ganado, incluyendo el gasto energético para su producción y transporte. Los trabajos donde se cuantifica la cantidad de energía fósil necesaria para producir un kilo de peso vivo bovino muestran que ésta es altamente variable y que las características del forraje utilizado en la alimentación del ganado vacuno son determinantes de la eficiencia energética de los sistemas (Cederberg & Darelius, 2002;Cedelberg & Stadig, 2003;Casey & Holden, 2006;Williams et al., 2006;Ogino et al., 2007;Pelettier et al., 2010) ya que cuanto mayor sea la proporción de forraje que requiera pocos insumos para su producción y transporte, más eficiente energéticamente y, por lo tanto, más sustentable resultará la producción ganadera. Por ejemplo, en dos áreas de la Argentina cuyos sistemas ganaderos se basan en el pastizal natural (cuenca del Salado y San Luis), la eficiencia energética calculada como indicador de sustentabilidad ambiental fue considerada alta (Cieza & Flores, 2007;Gil et al., 2009). ...
... El consumo energético de diversos sistemas ganaderos para obtener un kilo de producto es extremadamente variable. Desde 169 MJ kg -1 de carne en sistemas muy intensificados como el de Japón, donde la cría y el engorde se realizan a corral y los alimentos se transportan desde lejos (Ogino et al, 2007), 121 MJ kg -1 de carne en un sistema pastoril con pasturas de alta producción y gran utilización de heno (Pelletier et al., 2010) a 22 MJ kg -1 de carne en sistemas como los de producción orgánica de Suecia, basados en la siembra de pasturas y verdeos (Cederberg & Stadig, 2003). Con respecto a estos valores, aun los establecimientos más intensificados de nuestro estudio (casos 9 y 10) fueron más eficientes en el uso de energía fósil, ya que consumieron 8,67 y 11,49 MJ kg -1 respectivamente, probablemente debido al aporte del pastizal natural o de las pasturas naturalizadas de festuca, que no requieren insumos para garantizar su producción. ...
Article
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The aim of the study was to explore the impact of the current process of intensification in cattle production systems on the environmental sustainability in the Salado basin region. We compared the proportion and condition of grasslands, fossil energy consumption per unit of area and per unit of product and fossil energy use efficiency on13 livestock farms that used different input levels for cattle feeding. Fossil energy consumption per unit of area ranged from 600 to 3600 megajoules (MJ) ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹, fossil energy consumption per unit of product from 0.01 to 8.49 MJ.kg⁻¹ of live weight, and fossil energy use efficiency from 0.92 to 1973 MJ of energy produced per MJ of energy consumed. Fossil energy consumption was lower and fossil energy use efficiency was higher on farms with a large proportion of rangeland in good condition as a consequence of appropriate grazing management with respect to higher feed-input farms. The current process of intensification is causing a decrease in the energy efficiency of meat production systems, which might affect environmental sustainability.
... Our CF at the farm gate was in the range indicated above, and the proportions of GHG coming from gut and manure management agree with previously determined values. 26,9 The burden associated with feed production was lower than the 27-41% range reported in previous studies. 7,26 In those studies, the emissions associated with fuel consumption and soil management for feed production were considered together, whereas we considered these GHG sources separately. ...
... 26,9 The burden associated with feed production was lower than the 27-41% range reported in previous studies. 7,26 In those studies, the emissions associated with fuel consumption and soil management for feed production were considered together, whereas we considered these GHG sources separately. The contribution of feed production would rise to 32% of the CF at farm gate if we combined these two sources. ...
Article
BACKGROUND Sustainability of food systems is one of the big challenges of humans kind in the next years. Local food networks, especially the organic ones, are growing worldwide and few information is known about their carbon footprint. This study was aimed to assess greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions associated to organic local beef supply chain with a cradle to grave approach. RESULTS The study pointed out an overall burden of 24.46 kg CO2 eq./kg of cooked meat. The breeding and fattening phase accounted 86% of the total emissions and resulted the main hot spot throughout the whole chain. Enteric methane emission was the greatest source of GHG at farm gate (47%). The consumption of meat at home was the second hot spot throughout the chain (9%) and cooking process was the main source within this stage (72%). Retail and slaughtering activities accounted for 4.1% and 1.1% on the whole supply chain, respectively. CONCLUSION The identification of GHG hot spots associated to organic beef meat produced and consumed in a local food network may stimulate the debate on environmental issues among the actors involved in the network and direct them toward processes, choices and habits less carbon polluting.
... The negative relationship between carbon footprints and either meat (kg LWG per AU) or milk productivity (kg FPCM per AU) suggests that an increase in productivity might reduce GHG emissions per kg product. This finding corroborates previous LCA studies for beef systems in Brazil and Argentina, which indicated that carbon footprints could be reduced by increasing animal productivity (Morel et al., 2016;Nieto et al., 2018). There were significant differences in CF among clusters in cow-calf farms, which ranged between 10.3 and 15.6 kg CO 2 eq kg LWG −1 (Table 8). ...
... The CFs for clusters 1 and 3 were lower than commonly reported for these systems, with the lower GHG emissions per kg product probably being due to a better quality of pastures, higher forage allowance, higher productivity, and lower use of inputs. Several studies performed in Canada, Japan, and US, have reported that with the inclusion of seeded pastures, GHG emissions from forage diets are reduced, reducing the farm CF (Beauchemin et al., 2010;Ogino et al., 2007;Pelletier et al., 2010). ...
Article
In Colombia, the beef production chain accounts for approximately 11.6 million cattle heads and annually produces 933 million kg of the beef carcass. There are no life cycle assessment (LCA) studies that have evaluated the environmental performance of Colombian beef systems. The present study aimed to estimate the carbon footprint (CF), non-renewable energy use, and land use of 251 cow-calf and 275 fattening farms in Colombia. The study also aimed to identify the main hotspots of adverse environmental impacts and propose possible mitigation options and their cost-effectiveness. The impact categories were estimated using the 2006 IPCC, the 2019 Refinement to 2006 IPCC guidelines, databases, and locally estimated emission factors. The functional units used were 1 kg fat and protein corrected milk and 1 kg live weight gain, leaving the farm gate. Three methods of allocating environmental burdens to meat and milk products were applied: economic, energy and mass allocation. The adoption of improved pastures was considered a mitigation measure, and an economic assessment was performed to estimate the relative cost-effectiveness of its establishment. A principal component multivariate analysis and a Hierarchical Clustering on Principal Components were performed. The economic allocation method assigned a greater environmental burden to meat (83%), followed by energy content (80%) and mass production (73%). The largest sources of GHG emissions were enteric fermentation and manure deposited on pasture. Both cow-calf and fattening systems had a cluster of farms with better productivity, pasture and cattle management practices, and environmental performance. The CF for meat could be reduced by 33 to 56% for cow-calf and 21 to 25% for fattening farms, by adopting improved pastures. Therefore, our results suggest that GHG emissions can be reduced by adopting improved pastures, better agricultural management practices, efficient fertilizer usage, using the optimal stocking rate, and increasing productivity.
... El consumo de concentrado de los bovinos estudiados fue muy limitado para alcanzar mayores ganancias en peso, Ogino et al. (2007) suplementaban a bovinos de la raza de carne japonesa entre 2 y 2,3 kg de concentrado desde que alcanzaban los 191,7 y 223 kg de peso vivo. En el apartado del análisis integral de la importancia relativa de las variables, se encontró que, de las cinco analizadas mediante el análisis factorial, solamente 15 mostraban un peso relevante. ...
... Este grupo tiene una productividad por hectárea de 160 kg mayor que el grupo 1, aunque el nivel es bajo comparado con lo que se obtienen en otros sistemas, como en Stejskalová et al. (2013). En buena medida se debe al bajo aporte del concentrado si se compara con los habituales en muchos lugares que pueden no ser altos, pero duplican lo observado (Ogino et al., 2007). ...
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The objective of the work was to describe and group units of fattening of commercial Zebu bulls grazing with low supplementation. We studied 44 bovine meat production units belonging to credit and service cooperatives by private farmers, in the municipality Sibanicú, Camagüey province, Cuba. Visits to each of the units were carried out for three years and took the official records of each producer for the variables: the resources, animals, management, production and economics. The major statisticians for this variables were calculated. The average initial weight, final weight, the weight gain and the production by hectare were of 202,6; 371,6; 0,501 and 326,2 kg 339,7 days of fattening. Five principal components rotated (Varimax) were obtained. The Principal Analysis Components (PCA) showed a higher than 0,66 Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin coefficient, a coefficient of sphericity of significant Bartlett (P
... These reported values are those with the highest frequency; however, approximately 28% of farms were characterized by low GWP (<11 kg of CO 2 eq) and a smaller percentage of farms (8.74%) by GWP >17 kg of CO 2 eq. The variation among farms for TMR GWP is due to the feed ingredients used and to feed production and transportation, which are presumed responsible for the high amount of GHG emissions (Ogino et al., 2007). ...
... Using a large amount of concentrates requires huge inputs for growing, processing, and transportation, leading to increased use of pesticides, fertilizers, and ancillary sources of emissions associated with production and transportation infrastructure (Beauchemin et al., 2008) and change of land use. Ogino et al. (2007) reported that production and transportation of concentrates for animal feeding produced 2.1 times as much CO 2 as that of roughage per unit of total digestible nutrient. ...
Article
The aim of the present study was to evaluate, through a survey conducted on commercial farms, the global warming potential (GWP) of different lactating cow total mixed rations (TMR) and to identify the best dietary strategies to increase feed efficiency (FE) and reduce enteric CH4 emission. A total of 171 dairy herds were selected: data about dry matter intake (DMI), lactating cow TMR composition, and milk production and composition were provided by farmers. Diet GWP (kg of CO2 equivalents; CO2eq) was calculated as sum of GWP (kg of CO2eq) of each included ingredient, considering inputs needed at field level, feed processing, and transport. For soybean solvent meal, land use change was included in the assessment. Enteric methane production (g/d) was estimated [using the equation CH4 (g/d) = 2.54 + 19.14 × DMI] to calculate CH4 emission for kilograms of fat- and protein-corrected milk (FPCM). The data set was analyzed by generalized linear model and logistic analysis using SAS 9.4 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). The frequency distribution showed wide variation among farms for GWP (kg of CO2eq) of TMR: approximately 25% of the surveyed farms showed a diet GWP of 15 kg of CO2eq, 20% showed a GWP of 13 kg of CO2eq, and 16.7% showed a GWP of 17 kg of CO2eq. The variation among farms was due to the feedstuffs used. Among feedstuffs, soybean meal (SBM) had the highest correlation with the GWP of the TMR as shown by the following equation: TMR GWP (kg of CO2eq) = 2.49 × kg of SBM + 6.9 (R² = 0.547). Moreover, diets with inclusion of SBM >15% of dry matter (DM) did not result in higher milk production than diets with a lower inclusion of SBM (≤15%). Average daily milk production of cows was 29.8 [standard deviation (SD) 4.83] kg with fat and protein contents of 3.86% (SD 0.22) and 3.40% (SD 0.14), respectively. The average DMI (kg/d) of lactating cows was 22.3 (SD 2.23). Logistic analysis demonstrated that corn silage ≤30% of diet DM was associated with higher FE. Almost 50% of farms had an average value of 15.0 g of CH4/kg of FPCM and about 30% of farms had an average of 12.5 g of CH4/kg of FPCM. The results demonstrated that lower enteric CH4 production was related to inclusion (% of diet DM) of ≤12% alfalfa hay and >30% corn silage. Diets with >34% neutral detergent fiber had higher CH4 production (>14.0 g/kg of FPCM) than those with lower neutral detergent fiber content. In contrast, lower enteric CH4 production (≤14.0 g/kg of FPCM) was related to diets characterized by net energy of lactation (NEL) >1.61 Mcal/kg and >4% ether extract. The variability in TMR GWP shows significant potential for reducing the GWP of a diet through choice and inclusion levels of ingredients (mainly SBM) and the possibility of decreasing methane enteric emission associated with milk production on a commercial scale.
... This was equivalent to 21 and 15 kg CO 2 eq per kg LW . Average CF per kg of beef meat for the countries, including Japan, Ireland, England, Canada and Brazil ranged from 25 to 40 kg CO 2 eq (Casey and Holden, 2006a;Casey and Holden, 2006b;Cederberg et al., 2009;Dick et al., 2015;Jacobsen et al., 2014;Ogino et al., 2007;Vergé et al., 2008;Williams et al., 2006). In the case of beef, average carbon footprint in EU-27 in 2004 was reported to be 10 and 17 kg CO 2 eq per kg LW respectively, including and excluding emissions from land use change (Desjardins et al., 2012). ...
Article
This study evaluates environmental impacts of an integrated mixed crop-livestock system with a green biorefinery (GBR). System integration included production of feed crops and green biomasses (Sys-I) to meet the demand of a livestock system (Sys-III) and to process green biomasses in a GBR system (Sys-II). Processing of grass-clover to produce feed protein was considered in Sys-II, particularly to substitute the imported soybean meal. Waste generated from the livestock and GBR systems were considered for the conversion to biomethane (Sys-IV). Digestate produced therefrom was assumed to be recirculated back to the farmers' field (Sys-I). A consequential approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method was used to evaluate the environmental impacts of a combined production of suckler cow calves (SCC) and Pigs, calculated in terms of their live weight (LW). The functional unit (FU) was a basket of two products “1 kgLW-SCC + 1 kgLW-Pigs”, produced at the farm gate. Results obtained per FU were: 19.6 kg CO2 eq for carbon footprint; 0.11 kg PO4 eq for eutrophication potential, − 129 MJ eq for non-renewable energy use and − 3.9 comparative toxicity units (CTUe) for potential freshwater ecotoxicity. Environmental impact, e.g. greenhouse gas (GHG) emission was primarily due to (i) N2O emission and diesel consumption within Sys-I, (ii) energy input to Sys-II, III and IV, and (iii) methane emission from Sys-III and Sys-IV. Specifically, integrating GBR with the mixed crop-livestock system contributed 4% of the GHG emissions, whilst its products credited 7% of the total impact. Synergies among the different sub-systems showed positive environmental gains for the selected main products. The main effects of the system integration were in the reductions of GHG emissions, fossil fuel consumption, eutrophication potential and freshwater ecotoxicity, compared to a conventional mixed crop-livestock system, without the biogas conversion facility and the GBR
... In addition, the partial replacement in the diet of maize silage with high moisture ear maize allowed to reduce the inclusion in the diet of maize meal (Table 2). This may be favourable in terms of daily diet GWP since reduced dietary concentrates might reduce total net emissions (Ogino et al. 2007). Furthermore, excessive use of maize meal in the diet is not related to any productive advantage for the animals (Gislon et al. 2020a). ...
... Ultimately, we converted our reference flow into a mass unit (kilograms of meat as a final product) as it is the choice of most studies targeting meat production (among others, [41,[50][51][52]). Alternatively, another common unit in other studies is one live animal (among others, [53,54]). This mass unit should, however, be adjusted for nutritional value, as performed by Poore and Nemecek [42]. ...
Article
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Feed production is an important contributor to the environmental impacts caused by livestock production. In Portugal, non-dairy cattle are commonly fed with a mixture of grazing and forages/concentrate feed. Sown biodiverse permanent pastures rich in legumes (SBP) were introduced to provide quality animal feed and offset concentrate consumption. SBP also sequester large amounts of carbon in soils. Here, we used a comparative life cycle assessment approach to test the substitution of concentrate through installation of high-yield SBP. Using field data for the Alentejo region in Portugal, we compare the global warming potential of a baseline scenario where cattle is fed in low-yield, semi-natural pastures supplemented with feeds that vary in the ratio of silage to concentrate, and a second scenario where the feed is substituted with high-yield SBP. Although SBP use more fertilizers and machinery, this replacement avoids the emission of about 3 t CO2eq/ha even after SBP stop sequestering carbon. Using crude fiber to establish the equivalence between scenarios leads to higher avoided impact, owing to the fact that the fiber content of SBP is also higher. SBP can avoid 25% emissions from beef production per kg of live animal weight.
... Dans l'ACV restreinte à la période d'engraissement comparant 3 rations (tableau 1), le potentiel d'eutrophisation est plus élevé pour la ration très riche en concentré, toujours en raison des intrants plus élevés ; mais pour le potentiel d'acidification, le niveau est plus faible pour cette ration très concentrée, en raison d'émissions d'ammoniac par les effluents plus faibles. La production de boeufs pourrait entraîner des potentiels d'acidification et d'eutrophisation par kg de viande plus élevés que la production de taurillons, selon un unique essai mentionné par De Vries et al (2015) ; un âge d'abattage plus précoce des taurillons diminue également ces potentiels selon un essai portant sur un système japonais très spécifique (Ogino et al 2007). Il est donc possible de tirer quelques grandes tendances pour comparer des systèmes, mais la prédiction de différences entre systèmes d'alimentation reste difficile. ...
Article
L’ambition de cet article est de dresser un bilan environnemental de l’élevage de bovins pour la viande en France, aussi exhaustif que possible, à partir des données scientifiques et statistiques disponibles. Les impacts environnementaux abordés sont les émissions de gaz à effet de serre, la pollution de l’eau et des sols, l’utilisation des ressources naturelles (énergie, phosphore, eau), l’utilisation des terres et la biodiversité végétale et animale. Les méthodologies d’évaluation et les indicateurs utilisés sont justifiés et discutés. Lorsque l’unité d’expression est le kg de viande, l’essentiel des impacts environnementaux provient de l’atelier naisseur en raison de la longue phase d’élevage pour obtenir un broutard. Les résultats sont très différents lorsque les impacts sont calculés par unité de surface, que le stockage de carbone dans les prairies est pris en compte et que les impacts positifs de ces systèmes sur la biodiversité et sur le paysage sont intégrés à l’analyse. Bien qu’ayant des atouts pour aborder la transition agroécologique du fait de la part importante de prairies permanentes leur permettant de tirer avantage des régulations biologiques, les systèmes naisseurs sont cependant engagés depuis 20 ans dans un processus d’agrandissement au détriment de leur durabilité.
... There was a recommendation to increase the weaning rate and reduce the age of slaughter from thirty to twenty four months for mitigating the carbon footprint of the beef supply chain. Ogino et al. (2007) have evaluated the impact of cow-calf system on the environment in Japan. LCA techniques have been used and this study was confined to various operations and procedures involved in feed production, transport and animal welfare. ...
Article
Purpose: – With the rapid economic development of nations across the globe, there is proportionate increment in corresponding carbon footprint. There are numerous counter measures proposed to mitigate it in terms of legislation and policy framing. However, they have a shortsighted vision of predominantly focusing on manufacturing and transportation industry thereby neglecting one of the significant contributor of global emissions- agricultural industry. Among all the agri-food products, beef has the highest carbon footprint and majority of its emission are generated in beef farms. The issue is more intensive in developing nations where most of global cattle are raised and simultaneously farmers are less informed and aware of resources/technology to address emissions from their farms. Therefore, there is need to raise awareness among farmers and thereby incorporate carbon footprint as a major cattle supplier selection attribute by abattoir and processor and integrate it as a standard practice in procurement of cattle. Design/methodology: A novel framework based on big data cloud computing technology is developed for eco-friendly cattle supplier selection. It is capable of measuring greenhouse gas emissions in farms and assimilate into the cattle supplier selection process. Fuzzy AHP, DEMATEL and TOPSIS method is employed to make an optimum tradeoff between conventional quality attributes and carbon footprint generated in farms to select the most appropriate supplier. Findings: The proposed framework would assist in shedding the environmental burden of beef supply chain as the majority of carbon footprint is generated in beef farms. Moreover, the vertical coordination in the supply chain among farmers and abattoir, processor would be strengthened. The execution of the framework is depicted in case study section. Originality: The literature is deficient of ecofriendly supplier selection in the agri-food sector particularly in developing countries. This study bridges the gap in the literature by proposing a novel framework to incorporate carbon footprint into traditional supplier selection process via an amalgamation of big data, ICT and Operations Research. The proposed framework would assist in mitigating the carbon footprint of beef products as they have highest emissions among all agri-food products. This framework is generic in nature and can be implemented in any food supply chain.
... Dans l'ACV restreinte à la période d'engraissement comparant 3 rations (tableau 1), le potentiel d'eutrophisation est plus élevé pour la ration très riche en concentré, toujours en raison des intrants plus élevés ; mais pour le potentiel d'acidification, le niveau est plus faible pour cette ration très concentrée, en raison d'émissions d'ammoniac par les effluents plus faibles. La production de boeufs pourrait entraîner des potentiels d'acidification et d'eutrophisation par kg de viande plus élevés que la production de taurillons, selon un unique essai mentionné par De Vries et al (2015) ; un âge d'abattage plus précoce des taurillons diminue également ces potentiels selon un essai portant sur un système japonais très spécifique (Ogino et al 2007). Il est donc possible de tirer quelques grandes tendances pour comparer des systèmes, mais la prédiction de différences entre systèmes d'alimentation reste difficile. ...
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This paper is aimed at providing a comprehensive review of environmental issues related to beef cattle farming in France, including available scientific knowledge and statistics. Greenhouse gas emissions, water and soil pollution, use of natural resources (energy, phosphorus, water), land use, and animal and plant biodiversity are addressed. Methodology and indicators for evaluation are presented and discussed. When the results were expressed as kg beef, most impacts were due to suckling cow farms (calf-to-weanling) due to the long breeding time necessary to produce weanlings. The results were, however, very different when they were expressed per hectare, when carbon storage by soil was taken into account and when the positive impacts of these systems on biodiversity were included in the analysis. Despite a certain advantage for making a transition towards agroecology due to the large part of permanent grasslands, weanling cow farms have been evolving for 20 years towards the expansion of their structures at the expense of their sustainability.
... Ogino et al., 2007; Kazato et al., 2013). This production type is very important in tropical South -American regions (primarily in Brazil) so that special attention is paid to connection between cattle ranching and rehabilitation of tropical forest(Murgueitio et al., 2011; Bowman et al., 2012). ...
Article
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Various types of extensive livestock production are present worldwide, primarily in regions where natural resources such as pastures and meadows could be used. Extensive livestock production is common in the EU, as well. Therefore the goal of this research was to establish economic efficiency of extensive livestock production types and to compare their efficiency with some intensive livestock production types. In order to achieve that goal FADN (Farm Accountancy Data Network) methodology was used. Source of information was FADN database as well as appropriate sector analysis and publications of European commission. It has been determined that sheep and goat production is competitive with intensive production types (dairy and granivores-pigs and poultry). Cattle production (other than dairy production) proved to be economically inefficient due to low output level.
... The effect of CH 4 is almost 23 times higher than those of the effect of CO 2 . Therefore, the emission of about 100 kg Methane per year for each cow is equivalent to about 2'300 kg CO 2 per year (Ogino et al., 2007). According to FAO (2013), agriculture is responsible for 18% of the total greenhouse gas emission of the world. ...
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p>Ruminant livestock is one of the key elementsfor the agriculture-based economy of Bangladesh, although these animals are often condemned as a source greenhouse gas especially methane (CH4).Total methane emission from the enteric fermentation of ruminants in Bangladesh considering Gazipur, Tangail and Mymensingh district is reflected in the output of the present study. The emission was measured using the dry matter intake (DMI) approach based on the total population of ruminants. Feed intake was recorded from on-farm observation and/or farmers records. It was observed that the ration supplied to bovines consisted of 50-60% green roughage, 31-41% rice straw, and 4-10% concentrate mixture. In terms of DMI rice straw has been contributed the highest (51-65%) proportions followed by green forage (24-31%) and concentrate mixture (7-17%). In small ruminant ration, 90-95% feed (DMI 75-86%) was supplied from green grasses and remaining from concentrate mixtures. Although buffalo individually irrespective of sex and age emitted highest amount of methane followed crossbred and indigenous cattle, goat and sheep, the males produced a higher amount of methane than those of female in all species. Total methane emission in Gazipur, Tangail, and Mymensingh districts were 13359.15, 13250.65 and 13653.75 Kg/day and 4876.11, 4836.50 and 4983.62 „000‟Kg/year, respectively. In total 848,320 Kg/day and 309,630 “000”Kg/year methane was measured to be emitted in Bangladesh by 56.33 million ruminant livestock where 64.79% had come from indigenous cattle followed by crossbreed cattle (20.82%), Goat (8.79%), Buffalo (5.17%) and sheep (0.43%). Asian J. Med. Biol. Res. June 2017, 3(2): 245-253 </p
... The major sources and sinks of GHG on the dairy farm are associated with crop production (CO 2 and N 2 O), enteric fermentation of feed by livestock (CH 4 ), and manure management (CH 4 and N 2 O). Variations in diet formulation, and the associated crop production to supply that diet, can affect the quantity of GHG emissions of the various systems, as highlighted by several studies demonstrating the importance of feed quantity and quality to reduce livestock GHG emission intensity (Johnson and Johnson, 2007;Ogino et al., 2007;Beauchemin et al., 2010;Pelletier et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Organic agriculture continues to expand in the United States, both in total hectares and market share. However, management practices used by dairy organic producers, and their resulting environmental impacts, vary across farms. This study used a partial life cycle assessment approach to estimate the effect of different feeding strategies and associated crop production on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from Wisconsin certified organic dairy farms. Field and livestock-driven emissions were calculated using 2 data sets. One was a 20-yr data set from the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping System Trial documenting management inputs, crop and pasture yields, and soil characteristics, used to estimate field-level emissions from land associated with feed production (row crop and pasture), including N2O and soil carbon sequestration. The other was a data set summarizing organic farm management in Wisconsin, which was used to estimate replacement heifer emission (CO2 equivalents), enteric methane (CH4), and manure management (N2O and CH4). Three combinations of corn grain (CG) and soybean (SB) as concentrate (all corn = 100% CG; baseline = 75% CG + 25% SB; half corn = 50% CG + 50% SB) were assigned to each of 4 representative management strategies as determined by survey data. Overall, GHG emissions associated with crop production was 1,297 ± 136 kg of CO2 equivalents/t of ECM without accounting for soil carbon changes (ΔSC), and GHG emission with ΔSC was 1,457 ± 111 kg of CO2 equivalents/t of ECM, with greater reliance on pasture resulting in less ΔSC. Higher levels of milk production were a major driver associated with reduction in GHG emission per metric tonne of ECM. Emissions per metric tonne of ECM increased with increasing proportion of SB in the ration; however, including SB in the crop rotation decreased N2O emission per metric tonne of ECM from cropland due to lower applications of organically approved N fertility inputs. More SB at the expense of CG in the ration reduced enteric CH4 emission per metric tonne of ECM (because of greater dietary fat content) but increased N2O emission per metric tonne of ECM from manure (because of greater N content). An increased reliance on pasture for feed at the expense of grain resulted in decreased in milk production, subsequently leading to substantially higher emissions per metric tonne of ECM.
... The beef production systems in the example included reproductive cattle. Livestock reproduction and production can occur in different systems too, for example, in egg production (Dekker et al., 2011), broiler production (Leinonen et al., 2012, Leinonen et al., 2014, and in beef production (Ogino et al., 2007, Beauchemin et al., 2010, Pelletier et al., 2010. Yet, we propose to account for reproductive animals when assessing production levels if the proportion of feed intake of reproductive animals in a herd unit is a significant part of total intake (e.g. in beef cattle). ...
Thesis
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Global livestock production is expected to increase in future decades, and expansion of the agricultural area for feed production is not desired. Hence, increasing livestock production per unit agricultural area is essential. The bio-physical scope to increase production of livestock systems with the corresponding feed crop production (feed-crop livestock systems) could not be assessed generically at the start of this research. In crop production, however, crop models based on concepts of production ecology are widely applied to assess the biophysical scope to increase actual production. The difference between the biophysical scope and actual production is referred to as the yield gap. The objectives of this thesis were 1) to develop a generic framework to assess the scope to increase production in feed crop-livestock systems based on concepts of production ecology, 2) to develop a generic livestock model simulating potential (i.e. maximum theoretical) and feed-limited livestock production, and 3) to apply this framework and model to feed-crop livestock systems, and conduct yield gap analyses. Concepts of production ecology for livestock were specified in more detail. Feed efficiency at herd level was a suited benchmark for livestock production only, and production of animal-source food per hectare for feed-crop livestock systems. Application of the framework showed that the yield gap was 79% of the potential beef production of a cow-calf system, and 72% of a cow-calf-fattener system in the Charolais region of France. The model LiGAPS-Beef (Livestock simulator for Generic analysis of Animal Production Systems – Beef cattle) was developed to simulate potential and feed-limited production of beef cattle using input data about animals’ genotype, climate, and feed quality and availability. The model consists of sub-models describing thermoregulation, feed intake and digestion, and energy and protein utilisation. Model evaluation under different agro-ecological conditions indicated live weight gain was estimated fairly well (15.4% deviation from measured values). LiGAPSBeef was coupled with crop growth models to simulate potential and resource-limited production of twelve grass-based beef production systems in the Charolais region. Resource-limited production combines feed-limited production of cattle and water-limited production of feed crops. Yield gaps were on average 85% of potential live weight production per hectare, and 47% of resource-limited production. Yield gaps were attributed to feed quality and quantity limitation (41% of potential production), water-limitation in feed crops (31%), the combination of sub-optimal selling or slaughter weights, culling rates, calving dates, age at first calving, and stocking densities (9%), and the combination of prolonged calving intervals and calf mortality (2%). Improved grassland management and an earlier start of the grazing season may increase live weight production per hectare. Furthermore, the resource-limited production of bulls was simulated to increase by 6-14% from 1999-2006 up to 2050 due to climate change. From the results of this thesis, it can be concluded that 1) a generic framework using concepts of production ecology is available now to assess the bio-physical scope to increase production in feed-crop livestock systems per unit area; 2) the mechanistic model LiGAPSBeef simulates potential and feed-limited production of beef cattle fairly well; 3) combining LiGAPS-Beef with crop growth models allows to quantify yield gaps in feed-crop livestock systems, and to analyse these yield gaps. The method described in this thesis can be used subsequently to identify options to mitigate yield gaps, and to increase livestock production per unit area, which may contribute to sustainable intensification of agriculture.
... For example processing 1 kg of beef requires 4.37 Mega-Joules (MJ), and processing 1 dozen eggs requires more than 6 MJ [4]. That same 1 kg of beef may result in 36.4 kg of CO 2 with most of the energy consumed attributed to the production and transport of feed [5]. ...
Article
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established by the United Nations and World Meteorological Organization, has determined with a 90% confidence interval that humans have very likely contributed to a net warming of the Earth due to an increase in the emissions of greenhouse gases, aerosols, and land use changes. This warming has caused glacial melting to accelerate and subsequently sea level is now a very tangible issue. In addition, extreme precipitation events are happening more often in certain geographic regions. The last few decades have seen tremendous efforts focused on the collection and distribution of scientific data to better understand trends and future projections/scenarios of climate change and how society must adapt to those changes. As science concerning global climate change advances, societal awareness and understanding of the issue appears to be lagging behind. Does the public have a solid understanding of the mechanisms and consequences of climate change? Depending on the type of government, public views can significantly influence the government to develop better climate policies. Therefore, public voice is vital in influencing political decisions concerning climate change. Clear communication of scientific knowledge can empower people to safely steer future generations out of harm’s way - sharing and understanding fosters more of the same possibility. This case study discusses one of the interactive classroom activities which facilitated the active engagement of students in a discussion of local issues and potential avenues to adapt to climate change. Because climate change affects everything on our planet, animal farms on Delmarva represent one of the many economically and socially critical variables that must be protected through preemptive adaptations. Conversely, farm operations affect the rate of climate change, as well as the surrounding environment. With modern management practices and technology, farming effects on the environment and climate can be drastically reduced. On the other hand, if operations are not managed properly they can also have a negative impact on the environment and climate. Through suggestions and the adoption of modern practices, animal farming can become sustainable and environmentally friendly. The earth’s climate is inherently dynamic, but with the adoption of sustainable farming practices on a global scale the rate of climate change may be decelerated.
... Total lifetime production is the product of both longevity and reproductive performance. Improving it increases the efficiency, and decreases the environmental impact, of beef suckler farming (Ogino et al., 2007). ...
Article
A retrospective cohort study was performed to evaluate factors associated with the number of calves born to Norwegian beef suckler cows. Production data from 20,541 cows in 2210 herds slaughtered over a three-year period (1st of January 2010 to 23rd of January 2013) were extracted from the national beef cattle registry. This study’s inclusion criteria were met for 16,917 cows (from 1858 herds) which gave birth to 50,578 calves. The median number of calves born per cow was 2 (min 1, max 18). Two multilevel Poisson regression models with herd random effects showed that early maturing breeds (Hereford and Aberdeen Angus) gave birth to more calves than late maturing breeds (Charolais and Limousin) in four out of five areas of Norway. The significant breed-region interaction indicated that the coastal South East region of Norway, which has a relatively long growing season and gentle topography, yielded the highest number of calves born for all but one breed (Simmental). Cows that needed assistance or experienced dystocia at their first calving produced fewer calves than those that did not: incidence rate ratio 0.87 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84-0.91) for assistance and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.66-0.75) for dystocia, respectively. Cows in larger herds (>30 cows) produced 11% more calves in their lifetime compared to cows in smaller herds (≤30 cows) (P < 0.001). The herd random effects were highly significant, suggesting that unmeasured factors at the herd level were responsible for a large amount of the unexplained variation in the number of calves born. The large inter-herd variation indicate systematic differences in herd level factors influencing the number of calves born to each cow.
... Methane, one of the main greenhouse gases, has a great impact on climate change, which is a major problem worldwide. Approximately 50-60% of methane emitted into the environment comes from ruminant production systems (27), and about 90% of enteric methane generated by ruminants is produced by methanogenic microorganisms (39). During lactogenesis, cows require more energy than they consume (28); therefore, it is common to feed dairy cows a high-concentrate diet to increase the net energy for lactation (NE L ) (2). ...
Article
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The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between a Gram-positive bacterial population and methane production in the rumen of dairy cows supplemented with monensin and tallow, alone or in combination. Under each treatment condition, the following ruminal fermentation parameters were measured: pH, oxidationreduction potential (ORP), VFA, and methane production. Quantifcation of Gram-positive bacteria present in the rumen was performed by amplifying the 16S rDNA gene using PCR. Diversity analysis of Gram-positive bacteria was performed by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and bacterial taxonomy data were obtained by bioinformatics tools. Neither additive affected the pH or ORP, but they both reduced the total quantity of VFA. Supplementation with monensin, tallow, or their combination caused a decrease in methane production compared to the control diet. The best treatment to reduce methane production was monensin, with a reduction of 7.2% compared to the control diet. Supplementation with monensin or tallow did not affect the bacterial population. The Shannon diversity index was higher with monensin supplementation than with the other treatments. The analysis of each DGGE microbial community by the unweighted pair group method with averaging (UPGMA) revealed two clusters, one group with the control and monensin diets and the other with the tallow and combination diets. Taxonomic analysis of the dominant bands from the DGGE gel with the use of the Ribosomal Database Project (RBP) revealed that the Ruminococcaceae family was predominant, followed by the Lachnospiraceae family. Correspondence analysis (CA) suggested that both were negatively correlated with methane production in all treatments.
... The major sources and sinks of GHG on the dairy farm are associated with crop production (CO 2 and N 2 O), enteric fermentation of feed by livestock (CH 4 ), and manure management (CH 4 and N 2 O). Variations in diet formulation, and the associated crop production to supply that diet, can affect the quantity of GHG emissions of the various systems, as highlighted by several studies demonstrating the importance of feed quantity and quality to reduce livestock GHG emission intensity (Johnson and Johnson, 2007;Ogino et al., 2007;Beauchemin et al., 2010;Pelletier et al., 2010). ...
... Life cycle assessment is a systematic tool for determining the environmental impact of a product or process across its entire life cycle or a portion of interest (Klopffer 1997; Sheenan et al. 1998;Hass et al. 2001;Phetteplace et al. 2001;Berlin 2002;Silvenius and Gronroos 2003;Ziegler et al. 2003Ziegler et al. , 2011Cederberg and Flysjo 2004;Zhu and Van Ierland 2004;Basset-Mens and van der Werf 2005;Eriksson et al. 2005;Nempecek et al. 2005;Casey and Holden 2006;Mollenhorst et al. 2006;Weiske et al. 2006;Williams et al. 2006;Katajajuuri 2007;Ogino et al. 2007;Verge et al. 2007Verge et al. , 2008Verge et al. , 2009Blonk et al. 2008;Hirschfeld et al. 2008;Thomassen et al. 2008;Ziegler and Valentinsson 2008;Aubin et al. 2009;Blonk et al. 2009;Cederberg, Meyer et al. 2009;Edward-Jones et al. 2009;Ellingsen et al. 2009;Flachowsky and Hachenberg 2009;Pelletier et al. 2009;Peters et al. 2009;FAO 2010;Iribarren,Vazquez-Rowe et al. 2010;Nyugen et al. 2010;Pelletier and Tyedmers 2010;Ponsioen et al. 2010;Vazquez-Rowe et al. 2010, 2011Sheane et al. 2011;Ramos et al. 2011;Svanes et al. 2011. Finnveden et al. 2009). ...
Article
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Global population growth will increase pressures on current food systems in order to supply adequate protein and produce to the increasingly urban world population. The environmental impact of food production is a critical area of study, as it influences water and air quality, ecosystem functions, and energy consumption. Aquaponics (where seafood and vegetables are grown in a closed loop system), has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of food production. A review of the current environmental and economic considerations is provided in order to identify current research gaps. Research gaps exist with respect to 1) diversity of aquatic and plant species studied, 2) inconsistent bounds, scope, and lifetime across studies, 3) diverse allocation of the environmental and economic impacts to the co‐products, 4) scale of systems considered, 5) transportation of produced food, and 6) presence of heavy metals, pests and pathogens with human health implications. These aspects require increased attention to close the existing gaps prior to widescale deployment of these systems for increased sustainable food production towards satisficing human needs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... To put the impact savings into a wider context, wasted food minimisation (Option b) was calculated to have a global warming impact equivalent to a 31% reduction of vehicle emissions (~14 Mt CO 2 ) based on 2010 data (EPA, 2013b). While eutrophication and acidification impact would be equivalent to avoiding 24% and 17% of the emissions ascribed to the cattle pollution in Ireland respectively, based on cattle emissions estimated by Ogino et al. (2007). Another direct consequence of food chain efficiency in Ireland would be an additional 1.46 million people could be fed (Kastner et al., 2012) using the 295,000 ha of agricultural land that is currently used to produce wasted food in Ireland. ...
Article
The potential environmental impact of wasted food minimisation versus its utilisation in a circular bioeconomy is investigated based on a case study of Ireland. The amount of wasted food and food residue (WFFR) produced in 2010 was used for business-as-usual, (a) and four management options were assessed, (b) minimisation, (c) composting, (d) anaerobic digestion and (e) incineration. The environmental impacts Global Warming Potential (GWP), Acidification Potential (AP) and Eutrophication Potential (EP) were considered. A carbon return on investment (CRoI) was calculated for the three processing technologies (c–e). The results showed that a minimisation strategy for wasted food would result in the greatest reduction of all three impacts, −4.5 Mt CO2-e (GWP), −11.4 kt PO4³-e (EP) and −43.9 kt SO2-e (AP) compared to business as usual. For WFFR utilisation in the circular bioeconomy, anaerobic digestion resulted in the lowest environmental impact and best CRoI of −0.84 kg CO2-e per Euro. From an economic perspective, for minimisation to be beneficial, 0.15 kg of wasted food would need to be reduced per Euro spent.
... Food impacts are closely related to the amount of meat (beef, pork, veal, and lamb) consumed, which is considerably lower in the ecovillages than the U.S. average (65% lower in Earthaven, 83% lower in EVI, 75% lower in Sirius). The GWP of meat production has been well documented (Ogina, 2007;Pelletier, 2001;Peters, 2010). Animal wastes are also major contributors to Eutrophication, explaining that impact category's responsiveness to meat consumption. ...
Preprint
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This study uses life cycle assessment (LCA) to develop a comprehensive model of the environmental impacts of residents of three ecovillages (Sirius Community, Earthaven, and Ecovillage at Ithaca) across four areas of activity: home energy use, transportation energy use, food consumption, and waste disposal. In addition, a model of the average U.S. resident was developed to provide a basis for comparison. Using models for residents of each ecovillage and the average U.S. resident allows the investigation of the impacts of different practices at each ecovillage while also demonstrating that ecovillage residents have substantially lower environmental impacts than the average U.S. resident. The combination of the comprehensive results provided by the LCA and the examination of multiple ecovillages provides a rich understanding of the impacts of these communities and their potential as models for the development of more sustainable communities.
... The high contribution to climate change of enteric fermentation, which was detected for all the forage systems, has been confirmed by several authors in the international literature (Ogino et al., 2007;Doltra et al., 2018). The high value of enteric fermentation shown by PR FRESH is probably related to the extensive inclusion of forages characterized by low fibre digestibility in the diet, which also results in a reduced individual milk production and feed efficiency. ...
Article
Farm sustainable intensification is an important strategy to reduce environmental impacts, which can be obtained in particular through improvements in the milk production per cow and feed efficiency, as well as by increasing the net primary production of the Utilized Agricultural Area. Farming systems that are mainly based on multi-annual/perennial forages may increase soil carbon (C) sequestration, which is a significant greenhouse gases mitigation strategy. The aim of the present study has been to identify the forage systems related to dairy farms that are able to maximize feed production and to improve feed efficiency and C sequestration, in order to achieve the best environmental sustainability result. A group of 46 dairy farms was selected to represent the most widespread forage systems in Northern Italy. The identified forage systems were: CONV, conventional corn silage system; MIXED, low intensity mixed system; HQFS, high quality forage system; WICE, winter cereal silage system; PR DRY, hay system for Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese production and PR-FRESH, hay and fresh forage system for Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese production. Primary data were collected to carry out a life cycle assessment. Soil samples of representative crops of the forage systems were collected to determine in particular the soil organic carbon density and soil organic matter. The WICE, CONV and HQFS forage systems provided the greatest amount of dry matter (DM) per hectare, whereas the PR FRESH system showed the highest soil C density. The LCA results showed that the HQFS system registered the lowest values for all the impact categories (except for land occupation and the use of non-renewable resources), probably due to the higher milk production, both in terms of individual production (fat and protein corrected milk/head) and feed efficiency (kg milk/kg DMI). More intensive systems, such as HQFS, demonstrated that the milk production per cow and feed efficiency are negatively related to the impact per kilogram of product. The HQFS system also resulted to be more sustainable, in terms of feed self-sufficiency, as a high amount of DM per hectare. However, as far as this forage system is concerned, there is still room to strengthen environmental sustainability, since HQFS also showed the lowest C soil density. Further investigations are needed to consider environmental sustainability over a wider spectrum.
... Regarding GWP, the primary source is animal husbandry which accounts for emissions from manure management (N 2 O, CH 4 ) and enteric fermentation in ruminants (CH 4 ), with the majority originating from the latter (Ogino et al., 2007;Dick et al., 2015;Doltra et al., 2018;Gislon et al., 2020). Therefore, the lower GWP from animal husbandry of the Lungau farms is caused by the lower stocking rates (0.88 and 1.04 dairy cows ha MP −1 for Lungau farms and MDF, respectively; Table 1), which lead to less enteric fermentation and lower emissions from manure management (Dong et al., 2006). ...
Article
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Extensive dairy production in less favorable production areas has a long tradition in Austria. Nevertheless, dairy production also contributes considerable environmental impacts (EIs), e.g., greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient losses, and land use. Therefore, 20 organic dairy farms located in the Lungau region in Austria were assessed concerning their EIs via life cycle assessment (LCA). Cumulative exergy demand (CExD), normalized eutrophication potential (EP), aquatic ecotoxicity potential (AE), and global warming potential (GWP) were considered as impact categories to describe the farms' EIs. The farms were part of a pilot project aiming to produce high-quality dairy products and keep production cycles closed within the project region. Consequently, the purchase of key off-farm resources was only possible within the project region. We adapted existing life cycle inventories to account for those regional resource purchases. Subsequently, the EIs of the 20 farms were related to the functional units (FUs) of 1 kg energy-corrected milk (ECM) and 1 ha agricultural area for milk production and compared to a representative model dairy farm (MDF) that was created based on statistical data and average production values of organic Austrian dairy farms. Compared to the MDF, results show an ~58% lower EP per ha and 44% per kg ECM of the Lungau farms. Further, the CExD per ha was about 24% lower due to a lower use of resources caused by the lower production intensity of the Lungau farms. Regarding GWP, Lungau farms are favorable considering 1 ha as the FU, whereas the MDF seems advantageous if 1 kg ECM is used as the FU. However, caused by a high variation of purchased roughage and the lower production intensity, the Lungau farms cause higher AE, regardless of the FU. Overall, we identified three principal production parameters determining the environmental performance of milk production in a closed production cycle in a less favorable area, namely, (1) the stocking rate, (2) the fed concentrate, and (3) the purchased roughage. Using those inputs at moderate intensity, the extensively managed Lungau farms can competitively contribute to producing food, thus highlighting the importance of site-adapted agriculture.
... The dominating field of action for GWP is animal husbandry, which accounts for emissions from enteric fermentation (CH 4 ) and manure management (CH 4 , N 2 O). The majority of these emissions originates from the enteric fermentation of ruminants (Dick et al., 2015;Doltra et al., 2018;Gislon et al., 2020;Ogino et al., 2007). Therefore, the two most promising management options to mitigate GWP emissions from animal husbandry are directly related to reducing livestock. ...
Article
Agriculture and especially dairy production cause considerable environmental impacts. Therefore, the growing world population and food demand long for sustainable agricultural practices which aim at producing more food without intensifying the pressure on limited resources and the environment. At the same time, agriculture also provides several other benefits to society, which should not be neglected. In this study, we combined life cycle assessment (LCA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) to assess the eco-efficiency of 44 dairy farms and simultaneously considered multiple functions of agriculture. Additionally, we addressed the improvement of non-eco-efficient farms by pointing out specific management options which promote the farms' eco-efficiency. The results revealed a high diversity in fulfilling the different functions of agriculture among the 44 dairy farms. We found that the 21 organic dairy farms scored a higher mean eco-efficiency than the 23 conventionally operated dairy farms. The improvement of eco-efficiency showed a high diversity since it can be accomplished by either increasing the outputs or decreasing the inputs. A central source, which affects all inputs and outputs, is the purchased concentrate. However, we conclude that there is no “one-size-fits-all” concept of improving the eco-efficiency of multifunctional dairy farming. Instead, there is always a farm-individual path of increasing eco-efficiency, which depends on the farm's status quo, the efficiency of managing resources, nutrients, and other inputs, and the farmer's choice to position the farm along the trajectory between input minimizing and output maximizing.
... Sin embargo, el sobrepastoreo por el ganado ha ocasionado disturbios en los ecosistemas donde se realiza, causando la pérdida de la diversidad biológica (Fleischner 1994;Domínguez 2005;Jones 2000); la afectación al suelo y agua (Belsky et al. 1997;Donkor et al., 2001); la fragmentación y funcionalidad de los ecosistemas (Fleischner, 1994;Challenger 1998); la afectación de zonas riparias (Fleischner 1994;Belsky 1999;Granados 2006), además de una contribución importante al cambio climático debido a la emisión de gases de efecto invernadero, pues el ganado produce metano, el cual, es más potente como gas de efecto invernadero que el dióxido de carbono (Ogino 2007;Fanelli 2007;Steinfeld et al., 2009). No obstante el sobrepastoreo por el ganado doméstico, se traduce en cambios estructurales de la comunidad vegetal, incluyendo una baja sensible de la densidad de las especies, pérdida de cobertura foliar, aumento de suelo expuesto y cambios en las propiedades físicas y químicas de éste (Echavarria, 2006). ...
Article
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La ganadería extensiva es considerada un factor de riesgo en la conservación de los recursos naturales en los ecosistemas silvestres, incluyendo las áreas naturales protegidas (ANP). En el presente trabajo se analizó el estatus legal que guarda la práctica de actividades pecuarias dentro de las ANP federales de México, considerando la importancia que tiene esta actividad productiva para sus habitantes y la relevancia que representa como factor de disturbio para los ecosistemas silvestres. De acuerdo al marco legal normativo que rige las actividades ganaderas dentro de las ANP de México, la ganadería se puede realizar dependiendo de la categoría y de la exposición de motivos del decreto de la ANP, siendo los estudios previos y los objetivos que motivaron la creación de la ANP, los que rigen la zonificación, misma que no necesariamente coincide con la zonificación contemplada en el Reglamento de la LGEEPA en materia de ANP.
... The rapid increase in meat consumption shed light on the resource demand of meat production. Cattle are responsible for about 6.52% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (3.19 Gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents) [4,5] and the production of 1 kg of beef causes 26.5 kg CO 2 emission and needs 15,000 litres of water (equal to 50 days' household water use per capita in EU) [6,7]. Many researchers suggest that meat consumption need to be decreased to protect and preserve the environmental resources. ...
Article
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Plant-based meat analogues (i.e., plant-based meat alternatives or substitutes, or vegan meats) are becoming more and more popular. The quality of the available products is constantly increasing therefore their consumption is also increasing. The primary role of meat analogues is to replace the meat component in meals while appropriate nutrient content and hedonic value will be provided as well. The food safety aspects of these newly emerging food products are less investigated. The aim of this study is to compare the microbial spoilage of identical meals prepared with meat and meat analogues to evaluate the food safety risk of meat analogues. In this work, raw protein materials were tested. Moreover, three pairs of meals prepared with or without meat were microbiologically examined during a storage experiment. Microbial contaminants were low in raw protein sources. In the case of hot meals, the microbial proliferation was faster in samples containing meat analogue, especially if the meals were not cooled. The food safety risk of meals prepared with meat analogues is slightly higher than their meat-containing counterparts, therefore more attention needs to be paid to the preparation, processing, and storage of these foods.
... Regarding GWP, the source animal husbandry accounted for the maximum contribution within dairy and beef-producing farms (Fig. 2). This can be explained by CH 4 emissions from enteric fermentation and is in accordance with results from other studies (Dick et al., 2015;Doltra et al., 2018;Gislon et al., 2020;O'Brien et al., 2012;Ogino et al., 2007). Also, the purchased animals have a major impact on the GWP in three of eight beef-producing farms. ...
Article
Besides producing food for humanity's nutrition, agriculture also fulfills other functions such as providing a livelihood for farmers and preserving an attractive and biodiverse landscape. These functions of agriculture were considered in a novel eco-efficiency assessment concept applied to Austrian farms within this study. The joint application of life cycle assessment (LCA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) was used to evaluate Austrian farms' eco-efficiency. Data from 47 farms from different farm types (crop production, milk production, beef production, and wine production) were used to implement the concept. Cumulative exergy demand (CExD), global warming potential (GWP), normalized eutrophication potential (EP), and aquatic ecotoxicity potential (AE) were included as environmental impacts in an LCA and were consequently used as input values for the DEA. Considering multiple functions of agriculture, the farm net income (FNI), the net food production of crude protein and human-edible energy, and High Nature Value farmland (HNVf) were selected as output variables for the DEA. Results show that the purchase of resources causes a substantial share of environmental impacts, highlighting the importance of efficient utilization of on-farm resources. The results further revealed the use of high amounts of human-edible energy and protein as animal feed to cause lower eco-efficiency scores of livestock keeping farms (i.e., milk production and beef production). Overall, the eco-efficiency of farms depends on the fulfillment of different functions of agriculture, and individual strategies for improvement could be identified.
... The energy inputs and GHG emissions were estimated by multiplying fuel/material consumption by energy equivalents as well as emission factors, respectively. The energy equivalents and emission factors for fuel/material consumption were adopted from the Inventory Database for Environmental Analysis [32,33], which is frequently used in LCA studies in the field of agriculture in Japan (e.g., [25,34,35]). Diesel oil and gasoline consumption (L ha −1 ) for tractor/tiller-based field operations were computed on the basis of fuel efficiency (L hr −1 ) and work efficiency (hr ha −1 ) data collected from other field experiments and supplemented by other published results (e.g., [25]). ...
Article
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Fossil energy inputs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the cultivation and transport of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) for bioethanol production in Tanegashima, Japan, were estimated by life cycle assessment (LCA). The aim was to understand the effects of combined systems of polyethylene mulching treatment (mulching at planting and every ratooning, MM; mulching only at planting, MU; and untreated, i.e., no mulching at all, UU) and cultivar (a cold-tolerant genotype, NiTn18, and a conventional variety, NiF8). The mulch treatments and cultivars were combined to create six cultivation systems that were used to conduct a comparative assessment of cradle-to-gate energy inputs and emissions for bioethanol production. The LCA results showed that the energy inputs and GHG emissions resulting from the MM/NiF8 system were 6.29 MJ L−1 and 0.500 kg CO2e L−1, which were 14% and 23% lower, respectively, than the corresponding values in the UU/NiF8 system. In contrast, the MU/NiF8 system increased the environmental loads slightly. The use of NiTn18 improved sugarcane performance and ethanol yields substantially as compared with NiF8, reducing energy inputs to 5.38, 5.24, and 5.55 MJ L−1 and GHG emissions to 0.473, 0.450, and 0.441 kg CO2e L−1 for the UU, MU, and MM treatments, respectively. The energy inputs and GHG emissions were similar among the systems, indicating that more flexible mulching treatments might be acceptable in the NiTn18 systems than in the NiF8 systems. The energy inputs and GHG emissions resulting from the UU/NiTn18 system were 14% and 5% lower, respectively, than those of the MM/NiF8 system, suggesting that it may be possible to overcome the handicap of sugarcane production in cold conditions by breeding cold-tolerant cultivars.
... Además, en los sistemas más intensificados por mayor uso de insumos (semillas, maquinarias, combustibles, fertilizantes) las emisiones de otros gases, como N 2 O y CO 2 son mayores por un uso más significativo de energía fósil y de fertilizantes (Nemecek, Dubois, Huguenin-Elie y Gaillard, 2011). Aunque la discusión acerca de las estrategias productivas para mitigar las emisiones provenientes de la producción ganadera se ha generalizado en los últimos años, aún no hay consenso sobre las características del sistema de producción que libera menos GEI a la atmósfera (Cederberg y Stadig, 2003;Casey y Holden, 2006;Ogino, Orito, Shimada y Hirooka, 2007;Pelletier, Pirog y Rasmussen, 2010;Beauchemin, Janzen, Little, McAllister y McGinn, 2011). Hay estudios que apoyan la hipótesis de que la intensificación reduce la emisión de GEI (Pelletier et al. 2010), mientras que otros muestran que el aporte al calentamiento global de los sistemas pastoriles y/o de producción local de forrajes es menor que el de los intensificados (Cederberg y Stadig, 2003;Casey y Holden, 2006, Bellarby et al. 2013). ...
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Se comparó el balance de gases efecto invernadero (GEI) de dos modelos de producción ganadera de la cuenca del río Salado, provincia de Buenos Aires. Uno, caracterizado por el uso predominante de pastizal natural en buena condición debido al pastoreo controlado (MP 1), y otro por una mayor superficie de pasturas y cultivos forrajeros, mayor carga animal y producción de carne (MP 2). Se estimaron las emisiones primarias según el IPCC (Panel Intergubernamental del Cambio Climático). Al balance de GEI se incorporaron las estimaciones de las emisiones secundarias y de la ganancia o pérdida de carbono del suelo. Las emisiones resultaron mayores en el MP 2 que en el MP 1 (4500 vs 2273 kg CO2 eq. ha-1año-1 respectivamente, p<0,01). El MP 1 secuestró carbono como carbono orgánico del suelo a una tasa de 1851 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 año-1, mientras que el MP 2 emitió carbono a una tasa de 601 kg CO2 eq. ha-1 año-1. El balance de GEI fue diez veces más negativo en el MP 2 que en el MP 1, cuyo balance resultó neutro. Los sistemas pastoriles de esta región con predominio de pastizal natural bajo pastoreo controlado pueden mitigar los efectos del cambio climático.
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Beef production, especially when based on the calves from suckler cows, typically has the greatest environmental impacts among various livestock production systems. Conventional beef production in Japan uses a large amount of imported concentrate feed, which results in substantial environmental impacts. Yakumo Farm, located in northern Japan, produces grass-fed beef using only farm-grown feed. Pesticides and chemical fertilizer were used in the past, but organic management was introduced at the farm more recently. We assessed the environmental impacts of grass-fed beef production at Yakumo Farm before and after the introduction of organic management (hereafter, non-organic and organic, respectively), and a conventional Japanese (hereafter, conventional) system using life-cycle assessment (LCA). We constructed the LCA models based on data collected at Yakumo Farm, from the literature and from LCA databases. The LCA system boundaries included feed production, transportation, processing, animal management, enteric fermentation, and manure and its management. The functional unit was defined as 1 kg of cold carcass weight of beef steers. The impact of each system was determined regarding its potential contribution to global warming, acidification, and eutrophication, as well as its energy consumption. Both the organic and non-organic systems had much smaller impacts on acidification, eutrophication, and energy consumption than the conventional system. The impact on global warming associated with the organic system was equivalent to the conventional system, whereas for the non-organic system it was greater than for the conventional system. Generally, the exclusion of the process of feed transportation reduced the environmental impacts. The use of chemical fertilizer increased the global warming-related impact in the non-organic system. Therefore, we concluded that introducing organic management to Yakumo Farm mitigated its environmental impacts. Our results provide implications for mitigating the environmental impacts caused by beef or other livestock production not only in Japan, but also in other countries depending upon imported feed.
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It is essential to increase the production of foods to meet the increasing future food demand, but this should be done in an environmentally sustainable manner. Integrated crop-livestock systems have been suggested to balance the reduction of environmental impacts and the increase in food production. Here we assessed and compared the environmental impacts of specialized (SPC) and integrated (ITG) rice and beef production systems in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, using a life-cycle assessment (LCA). The productions of rice and beef are separated in the SPC, whereas they are integrated in the ITG: cattle manure is treated by a biodigester for biogas production, its digestate is applied to rice paddy fields as fertilizer, and part of the rice straw is used as cattle feed. We developed an LCA model based on data collected by site investigations of rice and beef farms and the relevant literature and LCA databases. Our evaluation of the ITG and SPC rice-beef production systems using the LCA revealed that among the four environmental impact categories investigated herein, the ITG had less environmental impacts on climate change (22%), energy consumption (22%), and eutrophication (14%) compared to the SPC. With the ITG, the reduction of methane emissions from paddy fields, the avoided energy consumption by the biogas produced, and the lower ammonia, nitrate, and phosphorous emissions from cattle manure and no eutrophying pollutant emissions from grassland were the main contributors to the lower greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and eutrophication potential of this system, respectively. A sensitivity analysis showed that the use of cover for digestate storage resulted in lower environmental impacts of the ITG system compared to SPC system in all of the impact categories investigated here. These results provide helpful information to develop a circular and resource-efficient rice and beef production system that balances increasing productivity with environmental sustainability in rice-producing countries, particularly in Asia.
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The present study was conducted in Varamin city of Tehran province, Iran. The environmental impact of broiler production at farm gate and chicken meat production at slaughterhouse gate per mass-based functional unit in summer and winter seasons were evaluated using life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Environmental impact categories including abiotic depletion potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, human toxicity potential, freshwater and marine aquatic ecotoxicity potential, terrestrial ecotoxicity potential, and photochemical oxidation potential were assessed via CML 2 baseline 2000 v2.04/ world, 1990 method. According to the results, the global warming potential, acidification and eutrophication for production of 1 ton packed meat were estimated to be 2931.91 kg CO2-eq, 41.75 kg SO2-eq and 14.69 kg PO4-eq, in summer and 5357.61 kg CO2-eq, 61.9 kg SO2-eq and 19.34 kg PO4-eq in winter, respectively. The evaluations revealed that the broiler production stage was the main source of environmental impacts principally due to production and transportation of feed and on-farm emissions in the life cycle of chicken meat production. Broiler production farms, slaughterhouse and transportation account for 56%, 31% and 13% of total energy consumption, respectively.
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The yearly changes in environmental impacts of Japanese dairy farming were evaluated with original sheet data of survey on cost of milk production, conducted by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Global warming, acidification and eutrophication potentials in Hokkaido and the areas except Hokkaido were evaluated by life cycle assessment (LCA). Fourteen year's original sheet data, from 1979 to 1992, were used in this study. The functional unit of LCA was one metric ton of milk produced. The production processes of chemical fertilizers, agrochemicals, materials, machineries and facilities, cultivation of purchased and self-supplied feeds, animal management and manure management were contained within the system boundary of this study. Multiple regression analysis was executed to estimate global warming, acidification and eutrophication potentials with cost of feeds, beddings, electricity and fossil fuels, facilities and machineries, the number of milking cows and the amount of milk produced. And the equations were used to evaluate the environmental impacts from 1993 to 2006. The amount of milk produced per farm was increased within the period from 1979 to 2006. Global warming potentials were decreased after 1982, and became constant after 1997 in Hokkaido and the areas except Hokkaido. The contributions of rumen fermentation and purchased feeds to global warming were high, and the contributions of fossil fuels (Hokkaido) increased from 1979 to 1992. Eutrophication potentials were higher in Hokkaido, but no difference was observed in 1992. From this study, the increase of milking cows per farm, the genetic improvement of milking performance, the quality improvement of feeds, the reduction of methane emission by rumination, the improvement of self-sufficiency of feeds and the greater use of composting methods that have low emission factors were important for reductions of environmental impacts.
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The objectives of this study were to evaluate and compare the environmental impacts and feed costs of two beef-fattening experiments using linseed oil soap fatty acids (LS) by the life cycle assessment (LCA) method. Crossbred heifers between Japanese Black sires and Holstein dams were used for two fattening experiments. In the first experiment, three treatments were compared; total mixed rations (TMR) were supplied from 19 to 27 months of age (Control; C1 group), 2.9% LS on TMR from 19 to 27 months of age (L1 group), and 2.9% LS on TMR from 18 to 27 months of age (L1e group). In the second experiment, all heifers were fed from 19 to 27 months of age and the three treatments were designed; Conventional TMR (C2 group), 2.7% LS on TMR (L2 group), and 2.7% linseed and rape seed oil soap (LRS) on TMR (LR2 group). The amounts of emitted pollutants and energy consumption from fossil fuel combustion and volatilization inside the system boundary (including feed preparation, feed transportation, barn, animal, and composting) were calculated based on data from each group. Environmental impacts of global warming, acidification, eutrophication, and energy consumption were estimated. The functional unit was 1.0 kg of average daily gain. The results showed that contributions to environmental impacts of global warming, acidification, and eutrophication in LS or LRS groups were smaller than non-supplemented groups (Control). This was due to the effects of methane mitigation and reduction of amounts of feed consumption caused by LS or LRS supplementation. Environmental impacts of the L1e group were smaller than the L1 group in all impact categories. In general, there was the trade-off between feed costs and mitigation effects of environmental impacts, and the LR2 group showed the lowest increase in feed costs and the highest reduction of environmental impacts in this study.
Article
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the environmental and economic impacts of year-round-grazing systems and a conventional housing system for Japanese Brown fattening steers by the life cycle assessment (LCA) method. Four treatments were designed in this study; grazing fattening without feed rice (G group), grazing fattening with feed rice (GR-1 and GR-2 groups) and conventional housing fattening (H group). For the three grazing groups (G, GR-1, GR-2), supplemental concentrate was constantly supplied and hay was supplied only in winter. The emissions from feed production, feed transportation, animal management, manure treatment and ruminal fermentation were assessed for the LCA. Impacts categories considered were energy consumption, global warming, acidification, and eutrophication. Impacts of NO3 and P emissions from fertilizer and manure on eutrophication were included. The functional unit was set to be 1 kg of average daily gain. The impact of carbon sequestration from pasture was also considered. The result showed that environmental impacts of G group on global warming, acidification, and eutrophication were significantly higher than those of H group (P<0.05). Considering carbon sequestration in the pasture, the sensitivity analysis indicated that grazing systems could reduce substantive impact on global warming. For economic assessment, annual carcass sales of G group were significantly lower than those of H group (P<0.05) and annual production costs showed no significant difference among groups.
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Economic and environmental impacts of different amounts of calcium soaps of linseed oil fatty acids (LOFA) supplementation on beef fattening systems were evaluated based on a life cycle assessment and a linear programming method. Optimization for 7 types of rations containing 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0% of LOFA at a dry matter basis were conducted using linear programming. The amounts of emitted pollutants and energy consumption from fossil fuel combustion and volatilization in feed preparation, feed transport, barn, animal, and composting were calculated through late fattening period. Environmental impacts of global warming, acidification, eutrophication, and energy consumption were estimated based on weighed amounts of emitted pollutants. Functional unit was 1 animal in the period analyzed. In ration optimization, the amount of concentrate was reduced with increasing levels of LOFA content. When 3.0% of LOFA were supplemented, the amount of reduction of concentrate was 1.6 times as much as of the added amount of LOFA. Feed costs were increased but environmental impacts for global warming, acidification, and eutrophication were reduced with increasing levels of LOFA content. Global warming potential was decreased by 8.9% with 3.0% addition of LOFA. Reduction of the environmental potentials was caused by decreases in methane emission from rumination and the amount of concentrate.
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Beef meat, one of the more environmentally costly animal-based foods, can be produced in two general ways, as the main product on specialised farms or as a coproduct on dairy farms. In this study, two cases (a semi-confinement dairy farm (A) and a pasture-based dairy farm (B)) have been analysed by means of LCA to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with the coproduction of beef meat. In both cases, purchased feed production was found to be the main cause of environmental impacts in most of the categories considered. Additionally, cow emissions to air were the main contributor for the global warming category. Comparing the two dairy systems, notably lower environmental impacts were obtained for B in 13 of the 18 categories analysed. Regarding CF, 8.10 and 8.88 kg CO2eq/kg LW were obtained for A and B, respectively. These CF values were within the wide range found in the literature for beef meat (1.2-42.6 kg CO2eq/kg LW). Beef calves and cull cows are an important output of dairy farming, so that coproduction enables milk and meat with lower CF and associated environmental impacts to be obtained. In addition, the variability of the data found in literature and the lack of LCA studies based on real data for beef meat coproduced on dairy farms evidence the importance of in-depth study of this interesting topic.
Chapter
The communication of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility measurements by food industry campaigns has identified key areas of activity that dominate sustainable thinking in the food industry. The purpose of this chapter is to show that one of these areas of activity, the intensity of resource use and resulting food waste, can be used as a universal connector of sustainability practice across supply chains and between them. This requires an assessment of food waste production because it is an attribute consumers are familiar with and as such; these connectors are often overshadowed by high-level issues such as global food security, climate change and the loss of biodiversity. While these high-level issues rightly dominate the policy arena they will often take the attention away from issues that practically relate sustainability to us as consumers when we prepare, present, preserve and consume three or four meals a day. This situation presents a major challenge that is tackled here by providing sustainability and security metrics that relate to meals. The Six-Function-Model (6fm) is a model developed to assess the sustainability of food and it can be used to overcome the stifling of sustainability thinking by methods that do not enable practical application in retail, kitchen and restaurant situations. The use of the 6fm by manufacturers, retailers and consumers will stimulate the ‘designing-in’ of sustainability attributes into meals. The model and a benchmarking analysis of the 6fm are presented here to account for resource use and food waste associated with meals. The future goal of 6fm is to stimulate the use of it in the food and beverage industry so that it ‘builds-in’ sustainable thinking to product design and consumer experience.
Thesis
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Habilitation thesis "Herd disease - theory and studies", Associate Professor - Ioan Hutu, PhD. DMV. Eng. MS., Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Part 1. HERD DISEASES IN ANIMAL HUSBANDRY Part 2. TRENDS AND APPROACHES ON HERD DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH THE NOVEL ECO-ECONOMIC PARADIGMS
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Food's environmental impacts are created by millions of diverse producers. To identify solutions that are effective under this heterogeneity, we consolidated data covering five environmental indicators; 38,700 farms; and 1600 processors, packaging types, and retailers. Impact can vary 50-fold among producers of the same product, creating substantial mitigation opportunities. However, mitigation is complicated by trade-offs, multiple ways for producers to achieve low impacts, and interactions throughout the supply chain. Producers have limits on how far they can reduce impacts. Most strikingly, impacts of the lowest-impact animal products typically exceed those of vegetable substitutes, providing new evidence for the importance of dietary change. Cumulatively, our findings support an approach where producers monitor their own impacts, flexibly meet environmental targets by choosing from multiple practices, and communicate their impacts to consumers.
Technical Report
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This report reviews the current literature on meat, milk and dairy, with a special focus on Norway. To understand differences in reported emissions, the report explains the variation in methodological approaches such as division over co-products, functional unit selection, and system boundaries. Cattle meat, milk and dairy emissions are analyzed and compared with selected other foods that could act as a replacement, according to the various system boundaries used in the studies. Emissions from meat and dairy in Norway are compared with the Nordics and west-Europe, and other regions where relevant. Comparisons are also made between different production systems, including conventional and organic, intensive and extensive, and beef production from different types of cows. Finally, the report analyses the relative impacts of the different life cycle stages of meat and milk production and consumption. In a short section, it highlights some of the potentials for change of milk and meat impacts on the climate that emerged from the literature. Key findings summarize emissions for meat from dairy cows (around 19,5 kg CO2 equivalents per kg product), young bulls (around 19 kg CO2eq/kg), suckler cows (around 30 kg CO2eq/kg) and milk (around 1,2 CO2eq/kg). Norway’s emissions from combined meat-milk production are higher than in other Nordic and Western European countries, mainly because other countries have higher yields and lower methane emissions. Cattle meat and milk emit more than potential alternatives. Use of functional units and comparison between products depends on the stakeholders and context for comparison. In Norwegian meat and milk production, on-farm processes play by far the largest role, with around 78% of the emissions. Pre-farm stages contribute 22%. Most, around 38%, come from methane from ruminant digestion. Importantly, few if any studies present allocations over the full life cycle, which means that proportions for pre-, on—and post-farm emissions may change significantly when including all life cycle stages. Finally, the report finds no clear differences between conventional and organic meat and milk production in terms of climate impact, while intensive and extensive systems both have large mitigation potential.
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The life cycle assessment (LCA) method, which evaluates the environmental impacts associated with a product, process or activity during its life cycle by describing its requirements for resource and the emissions, is expected to be highly effective for comprehensive environmental evaluations. An increasing environmental consciousness in society requires action by the animal industry on environmental problems, and evaluation of whole animal production systems from various environmental viewpoints has been required to reduce environmental impacts of animal production systems. Thus, studies about evaluation of using LCA and development of evaluation methods based on the LCA concept for animal production systems have been conducted in recent years. In this paper, we reviewed LCA studies on animal production reported, and furthermore, presented the studies that evaluated beef production and feeds prepared from food residues as examples of our research about environmental impact evaluation of animal production systems. Finally, we described challenges and future works in the research area of LCA for animal production.
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Environmental impacts of beef-fattening systems using local food by-product feeds were compared with those using concentrate feeds by a life cycle assessment method. Apple juice pulp and wheat bran were the local food by-product feeds evaluated. Cultivation, transport, processing, animal management, digestion process and waste management were used for estimations of global warming potential, acidification potential and eutrophication potential. Economic worth was used to allocate the environmental burden between juice and pulp and between flour and bran. The functional units for feed production and beef cattle fattening were 1 metric ton of total digestible nutrients and 1 kg of body weight gain, respectively. Contributions to global warming and acidification were high in the concentrate feeds beef-fattening system. Fossil fuel consumption by overseas transport influenced these impacts. Fossil fuel consumption during drying of apple juice pulp enhanced the global warming and acidification effects. As manure was excessively applied for grass and apple cultivation, contributions of grass silage and apple juice pulp to eutrophication were high. The use of local food by-products as feeds reduced global warming and acidification potential. The application of optimum amounts of chemical fertilizers and manure is important for reducing eutrophication potential.
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Beef production contributes to environmental problems, such as climate change, air pollution, and water pollution. The present study aimed to compare the environmental impact of the conventional fattening system for Japanese Brown beef steers (housed and fed large amounts of concentrate) with a year-round grazing system. We first evaluated the environmental impacts of the two beef fattening systems (year-round grazing and conventional) through life cycle assessment, then assessed the environmental impacts of the conventional cow-calf system. The impact of each system was determined regarding its potential contribution to global warming, acidification, and eutrophication, as well as its energy consumption. From these results and an evaluation of the carcass characteristics, we estimated and compared the environmental impacts per unit carcass weight of beef produced by the two fattening systems. The carcass weights were 403 kg (age at slaughter: 25.3 months) in the year-round grazing system and 465 kg (age at slaughter: 25.0 months) in the conventional system. The year-round grazing system led to lower environmental impacts per unit body weight gain of steers during fattening compared with the conventional system with reductions in the global warming, acidification and eutrophication potentials, and energy consumption of 22, 87, 81, and 57%, respectively. Unlike the conventional system, imported feed was scarcely used in the year-round grazing system. This led to a reduction in the environmental impacts associated with feed transportation, the major factor contributing to the reduction of all the impact categories we assessed. The impacts on global warming, acidification, and eutrophication potentials, and energy consumption per kg carcass weight of beef in the conventional system were 30.1 kg CO2eq., 326.7 g SO2eq., 38.0 g PO4eq., and 210.9 MJ, respectively, and in the year-round grazing system 27.8 kg CO2eq., 153.2 g SO2eq., 20.3 g PO4eq., and 134.2 MJ, respectively. Consequently, the year-round grazing system led to a reduction in the environmental impacts per unit carcass weight of beef compared with the conventional system, with reductions in global warming, acidification, and eutrophication potentials of 8, 53, and 47 %, respectively, and in energy consumption of 36%. We can therefore conclude that introducing year-round grazing into a conventional beef fattening system can mitigate the environmental impacts of Japanese beef production.
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The principles of the circular economy are transforming how we view waste materials. The use of life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to quantify the environmental impacts of waste management has been subject to assumptions and approaches that influence the interpretation of results. This study analyzed the implications of the transition from a linear economy where waste is valueless and managed for disposal to a circular ‘cradle-to-cradle’ economy where waste is valorized as a resource. A LCA study was carried out viewed from two stakeholder perspectives (i) waste disposal; and (ii) waste valorization by nutrient recovery. The composting of two domestic wastes was considered: wasted food and green (garden) waste. For the waste disposal perspective the zero-burden-assumption was adopted and a functional unit of kg waste was used. For the waste valorization perspective the upstream impact was included and a downstream functional unit of kg available nitrogen (N) was used. From the waste disposal perspective using a functional unit of kg waste, composting caused less impact than landfill. However, from the nutrient recovery perspective using a functional unit of kg available N, the business-as-usual synthetic fertilizer system had the lowest impact. This was because of the upstream impact of producing and processing food. How waste is perceived, and the subsequent assumptions and methodological choices made at the goal and scope stage of an LCA have a significant impact on the results and interpretations of an LCA study. When the focus of a system is waste valorization in a circular economy, a functional unit of per kg waste is not appropriate. It was concluded that to properly determine the impacts of valorizing waste materials in the circular economy, the upstream impacts must be considered and a functional unit that reflects the function of the downstream, secondary processing is required.
Thesis
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Abordări teoretice și experimentale asupra tehnopatiilor , Conferențiar ing. dr. Ioan Huțu, Facultatea de Medicină Veterinară Timișoara,
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A global emissions inventory for ammonia (NH3) has been compiled for the main known sources on a 1° × 1° grid, suitable for input to global atmospheric models. The estimated global emission for 1990 is about 54 Tg N yr-1. The major sources identified include excreta from domestic animals (21.6 Tg N yr-1) and wild animals (0.1 Tg N yr-1), use of synthetic N fertilizers (9.0 Tg N yr-1), oceans (8.2 Tg N yr-1), biomass burning (5.9 Tg N yr-1), crops (3.6 Tg N yr-1), human population and pets (2.6 Tg N yr-1), soils under natural vegetation (2.4 Tg N yr-1), industrial processes (0.2 Tg N yr-1 ), and fossil fuels (0.1 Tg N yr-1). About half of the global emission comes from Asia, and about 70% is related to food production. The regions with highest emission rates are located in Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and China, reflecting the patterns of animal densities and type and intensity of synthetic fertilizer use. The overall uncertainty in the global emission estimate is 25%, while the uncertainty in regional emissions is much greater. As the global human population will show considerable growth in the coming decades, food production and associated NH3 emissions are likely to increase as well.
Solid animal wastes in Japan are treated mainly by composting. The composting process under controlled conditions is able to convert the wastes into high-quality organic fertilizer. Various types of composting facilities with/without forced aeration and turning device are available. Characterization of the maturing process during composting was studied, to improve the quality of compost and to make the degree of maturity. Recycling of animal wastes as compost without any environmental pollution will be closely related to the development of sustainable agriculture with organic fertilizer in Japan.
Solid animal wastes in Japan are treated mainly by composting. The composting process under controlled conditions is able to convert the wastes into high-quality organic fertilizer. Various types of composting facilities with/without forced aeration and turning device are available. Characterization of the maturing process during composting was studied, to improve the quality of compost and to make the degree of maturity. Recycling of animal wastes as compost without any environmental pollution will be closely related to the development of sustainable agriculture with organic fertilizer in Japan.
Article
The objective of this study was to use the modelling approach to assess the effectiveness of different existing nutritional strategies to reduce methane production from ruminants. For this purpose, a modified version of a mechanistic and dynamic model of rumen digestion was used. Simulated strategies included: dry matter intake (DMI), forage to concentrate ratio, nature of concentrate (fibrous vs. starchy concentrate), type of starch (slowly vs. rapidly degraded), forage species (legume vs. grass), forage maturity, forage preservation method (dried vs. ensiled), forage processing, and upgrading and supplementation of poor quality forages (straw). This study showed that mathematical modelling is a valuable tool to evaluate the impact of a given dietary manipulation not only on methanogenesis but also on the metabolism of the whole rumen system. Depending on the nature of the intervention, methane production can be reduced by 10 to 40%. Increasing DMI and the proportion of concentrate in the diet reduced methane production (-7 and -40%). Methane production was also decreased with the replacement of fibrous concentrate with starchy concentrate (-22%) and with the utilization of less ruminally degradable starch (-17%). The use of more digestible forage (less mature and processed forage) resulted in a reduction of methane production (-15 and -21%). Methane production was lower with legume than with grass forage (-28%), and with silage compared to hay (-20%). Supplementation or ammoniation of straw did not reduce methane losses, but had a positive impact on the efficiency of rumen metabolism. The modelling approach demonstrated that reduction of methane production from ruminants is a complex challenge. Implementation of any strategy must take into account the possible consequences on the efficiency of the entire rumen system.
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黒毛和種繁殖雌牛の登録審査時に測定されている諸形質,ならびに繁殖能力と枝肉成績との遺伝的関連性を多形質アニマルモデルによるREML法により推定した.分析形質は,広島県下で収集された外貌審査による減率4項目および審査得点,体測定値3形質,繁殖能力2形質(初産月齢および分娩間隔)ならびに枝肉成績5形質である.外貌審査形質,体測定値および枝肉成績の遺伝率は中位から高めで推定されたが,繁殖能力の遺伝率は非常に低い値であった.外貌審査形質と体測定値間の遺伝相関は,体重体高比を加えないモデルでは高く推定された.初産月齢は,外貌審査形質,体側定値および枝肉成績と好ましい遺伝的関連性を示したが,分娩間隔と脂肪交雑評点の間には正の好ましくない関係が認められた.今後,枝肉成績に対する選抜圧が強くなることが予想されるため,分娩間隔の増加に注意する必要性が示唆された.
Article
反芻家畜を供試した190回の呼吸試験データから,メタン発生量と乾物摂取量との関係を検討し,簡易なメタン発生量推定式の作成を試みた.供試動物は,ホルスタイン種乳牛(泌乳牛,妊娠牛,乾乳牛,未経産牛および肥育去勢牛),黒毛和種(妊娠牛,成雌非妊娠牛および肥育去勢牛),コリデール種成去勢雄めん羊および日本在来種成去勢雄山羊であった.供試動物には,いずれも粗飼料およびトウモロコシ,大麦,人豆粕を主原料とする濃厚飼料を給与した.その結果,次のような知見を得た.1) 乾物摂取量が増加するにつれて,メタン発生量は増加したが,乾物摂取量当りのメタン発生量は減少した.2)したがって,メタン発生量(Y, l/日)と乾物摂取量(X, kg/日)との関係は曲線的であり,回帰分析の結果以下に示す2次式がえられた.Y=-17.766+42.793X-0.849X2(r=0.966)3) 以上の推定式に日本飼養標準等から推定した平均乾物摂取量をあてはめ,家畜頭数を乗じてわが国における家畜からのメタン発生量を推定すると,乳牛からは年間0.182テラグラム(Tg),肉牛からは0.150Tgと計算された.また,豚,馬をも含めた全家畜からのメタン発生量は0.345Tgであり,全世界での家畜からのメタン発生量に対する割合では約0.5%を占めるに過ぎなかった.
Article
Ammonia (NH) emission inventories are required for modelling atmospheric NH transport and estimating downwind deposition. A recent inventory for UK agriculture, estimating emission as 197 kt NH }N yr\, was constructed using 1993 statistical and census data for the UK. This paper describes the derivation of the UK-based emission factors used in the calculation of that emission for a range of livestock classes, farm practices and fertiliser applications to agricultural land. Some emission factors have been updated where more recent information has become available. Some of the largest emission factors derived for each farming practice include 16.9 g NH }N dairy cow\ d\ for grazing, 148.8 g NH }N liveweight unit\ yr\ for housed broilers and 4.8 g NH }N m\ d\ for storage of solid pig and poultry waste as manure heaps. Emissions for land spreading of all livestock waste were 59% of the total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN) applied as a high dry matter content slurry and 76% of TAN applied as farm yard manure. An updated estimate of emission from UK agriculture, using updated emission factors together with 1997 statistical and census data, is presented, giving a total of 226 kt NH }N per year.
Article
Direct measurements of fertilizer-derived N2O emission data from 104 field experiment reported in agriculture and soil science literature that were obtained between 1979 and 1987 were summarized and used to estimate woldwide fertilizer-derived N2O emissions. Although without statistical determination, there appears to be a trend between emissions and type and quantity of fertilizer applied; the available data does not indicate a trend between emissions and a particular soil type or agriculture system. Using the fraction of the N fertilizer evolved as N2O and fertilizer consumption estimates for five fertilizer types, 0.1 to 1.0 Tg N2O-N (avg. 0.3;median 0.2) were estimated to be released during the 'sampling period.' If these estimates are doubled to account for emissions after the sampling period and emissions from fertilizer lost in drainage water and groundwater, the expected rage would be 0.2 to 2.1 Tg N2O-N (avg. 0.7; median 0.5) emitted into the atmosphere in 1984. The magnitude of this estimate is in agreement with recent global estimates. If 100 Tg N fertilizer are consumed worldwide in the year 2000, the global release of fertilizer-derived emissions into the atmosphere will probably not exceed 3 Tg N2O-N in the year 2000. It is estimated that 23 to 315 Gg N2O-N were emitted into the atmosphere from fields of culivated leguminous crops in 1986. Future research needs were suggested.
Article
Methane (CHâ) is an important greenhouse gas and recent inventories have suggested that livestock manure makes a significant contribution to global CHâ emissions. The emission of CHâ from stored pig slurry, cattle slurry, pig solid manure, and cattle solid manure was followed during a 1-yr period. Methane emission was determined by dynamic chambers. Emission rates followed a ln-normal distribution for all four manures, Indicating large spatial and seasonal variation& Monthly geometric means for pig slurry, cattle slurry, pig solid manure, and cattle solid manure varied from 0.4 to 35.8, 0.0 to 34.5, 0.4 to 142.1, and 0.1 to 42.7 g CHâ m⁻³ d⁻¹, respectively. For slurries CHâ emission rates increased significantly with storage temperatures, the Qââ value ranging from 14 to 5.7 depending on slurry type. The presence of a natural surface crust reduced CHâ emission from slurry by a factor of 11 to 12. Surface crust effects declined with increasing slurry temperature. Solid manures stored in dungheaps showed significant heat production. Pig solid manure temperatures were maintained at 30 to 60°C throughout most of the year, while cattle solid manure temperatures were close to ambient levels until late spring, when heat production was initiated. Methanogenesis in solid manure also increased with increasing temperatures. For pig solid manure, CHâ emission rates peaked at 35 to 45°C. No distinct temperature optimum could be detected for cattle solid manure, however, temperatures rarely exceeded 45°C. The Qââ values for dungheaps ranged from 2.7 to 10.3 depending on-manure type and Qââ temperature interval. Annual CHâ emissions from pig slurry, cattle slurry, pig solid manure, and cattle solid manure were estimated at 8.9, 15.5, 27.3, and 5.3 kg animal⁻¹ yr⁻¹, respectively. 27 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.
Article
Background, Goal and ScopeSystem expansion is a method used to avoid co-product allocation. Up to this point in time it has seldom been used in LCA studies of food products, although food production systems often are characterised by closely interlinked sub-systems. One of the most important allocation problems that occurs in LCAs of agricultural products is the question of how to handle the co-product beef from milk production since almost half of the beef production in the EU is derived from co-products from the dairy sector. The purpose of this paper is to compare different methods of handling co-products when dividing the environmental burden of the milk production system between milk and the co-products meat and surplus calves. Main FeaturesThis article presents results from an LCA of organic milk production in which different methods of handling the co-products are examined. The comparison of different methods of co-product handling is based on a Swedish LCA case study of milk production where economic allocation between milk and meat was initially used. Allocation of the co-products meat and surplus calves was avoided by expanding the milk system. LCA data were collected from another case study where the alternative way of producing meat was analysed, i.e. using a beef cow that produces one calf per annum to be raised for one and a half year. The LCA of beef production was included in the milk system. A discussion is conducted focussing on the importance of modelling and analysing milk and beef production in an integrated way when foreseeing and planning the environmental consequences of manipulating milk and beef production systems. ResultsThis study shows that economic allocation between milk and beef favours the product beef. When system expansion is performed, the environmental benefits of milk production due to its co-products of surplus calves and meat become obvious. This is especially connected to the impact categories that describe the potential environmental burden of biogenic emissions such as methane and ammonia and nitrogen losses due to land use and its fertilising. The reason for this is that beef production in combination with milk can be carried out with fewer animals than in sole beef production systems. Conclusion, Recommendation and PerspectiveMilk and beef production systems are closely connected. Changes in milk production systems will cause alterations in beef production systems. It is concluded that in prospective LCA studies, system expansion should be performed to obtain adequate information of the environmental consequences of manipulating production systems that are interlinked to each other.
Article
The amounts of harmful gas emissions from the process of composting swine waste were determined using an experimental composting apparatus. Forced aeration (19.2–96.1 l/m3/min) was carried out continuously, and exhaust gases were collected and analyzed periodically. With weekly turning and the addition of a bulking agent in order to decrease the moisture content and increase air permeability, the temperature of most of the contents rose to 70°C and composting was complete within 3–5 weeks. NH3, CH4, and N2O emissions were high in the early stage of composting. About 10%–25% of the nitrogen in the raw material was lost as NH3 gas during composting. The emission rate of NH3 mainly depended on the aeration rate, so that as the aeration rate rose, the level of NH3 emissions increased. The CH4 and N2O emissions could be kept lower with adequate treatment at more than 40 l/m3/min aeration. N2O may be mainly the result of the denitrification of NO x -N in the additional matured compost used as a composting accelerator.
Article
Actions to moderate the major emission contributors of enteric fermentation, fertiliser and manure management on farms should not simply move the emissions elsewhere in the system, but actually reduce them. Life cycle assessment methodology was used to provide an objective framework for estimating emissions and to evaluate emission management scenarios with respect to kg CO2 eq emitted per unit of milk produced. An average dairy unit was defined and emissions were compartmentalised to calculate a total emission of 1.50 kg CO2 eq kg−1 (energy corrected milk) yr−1 and 1.3 kg CO2 eq kg−1 yr−1 with economic allocation between milk and meat. Of the total emissions, 49% was enteric fermentation, 21% fertiliser, 13% concentrate feed, 11% dung management and 5% electricity and diesel consumption. Scenario testing indicated that more efficient cows with extensive management could reduce emissions by 14–18%, elimination of non-milking animals could reduce emissions by 14–26% and a combination of both could reduce emissions by 28–33%. It was concluded that the evolution of the Irish dairy sector, driven by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), should result in reduced GHG emissions.
Article
Emissions of ammonia from livestock farming are responsible for the acidification and eutrophication of deposited ammonia in the environment. Research into the ammonia emission from livestock houses was carried out in 14 housing types for cattle, pigs and poultry in England, The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. Concentrations of ammonia and carbon dioxide (the latter for estimating ventilation rates) were measured at seven locations inside and one location outside in four replicates of each housing type over 24h under summer and winter conditions. Mean concentrations and emissions per housing type per country were estimated together with some variance components. Mean ammonia concentrations were lower than 8 p.p.m. in cattle houses, between 5 and 18 p.p.m. in pig houses and between 5 and 30 p.p.m. in poultry houses. The concentrations of ammonia in a number of pig and poultry houses exceeded the threshold value of 25 p.p.m. and may affect adversely the health of both stockmen and animals. Ammonia emissions from cattle houses (dairy cows, beef and calves) varied between 80 and 2001 mg/h per animal or 315 and 1798 mg/h (500 kg) live weight. Ammonia emissions from pig houses (sows, weaners and finishers) varied between 22 and 1298 mg/h per animal or 649 and 3751 mg/h (500 kg) live weight. Ammonia emissions from poultry houses (laying hens and broilers) varied between 2·1 and 39·4 mg/h per bird or 602 and 10 892 mg/h (500 kg) live weight. The emission rates should be used carefully, because of large variations between countries, between commercial houses and between seasons. Not all variations could be explained in terms of physical and chemical processes involved in the emission of ammonia. A comparison with other Dutch results revealed that the method used in this research for measuring ammonia emission rates produced accurate mean emission rates.
Article
An environmental life cycle assessment was performed to investigate the environmental consequences of the life cycle of Hushållsost, a semi-hard cheese. The assessment identified those activities that contribute most to the cheese's environmental impact throughout its life cycle from extraction of ingredients to waste management. Milk production at the farm was identified as having the greatest environmental impact, followed by cheesemaking at the dairy, retailing, and the production of plastic wrapping. The environmental impact could be reduced by minimising wastage of milk and cheese throughout the life cycle, without any effect on the quality of the product. Increasing the yield of cheese would also bring about substantial improvements as less milk would have to be produced on farms.
Article
Organic agriculture addresses the public demand to diminish environmental pollution of agricultural production. Until now, however, only few studies tried to determine the integrated environmental impact of conventional versus organic production using life cycle assessment (LCA). The aim of this article was to review prospects and constraints of LCA as a tool to assess the integrated environmental impact of conventional and organic animal production. This aim was illustrated using results from LCAs in the literature and from a pilot study comparing conventional and organic milk production. This review shows that LCAs of different case studies currently cannot be compared directly. Such a comparison requires further international standardisation of the LCA method. A within-case-study comparison of LCAs of conventional and organic production, however, appeared suitable to gain knowledge and to track down main differences in potential environmental impact. Acidification potential of milk production, for example, is for 78–97% due to volatilisation of ammonia, which is not reduced necessarily by changing from conventional to organic milk production. Eutrophication potential per tonne of milk or per ha of farmland was lower for organic than for conventional milk production due to lower fertiliser application rates. Global warming potential of milk production is for 48–65% due to emission of methane. Organic milk production inherently increases methane emission and, therefore, can reduce global warming potential only by reducing emission of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide considerably. Organic milk production reduces pesticide use, whereas it increases land use per tonne of milk. Conclusions regarding potential environmental impact of organic versus conventional milk production, however, are based largely on comparison of experimental farms. To show differences in potential environmental impact among various production systems, however, LCAs should be performed at a large number of practical farms for each production system of interest. Application of LCA on practical farms, however, requires in-depth research to understand underlying processes, and to predict, or measure, variation in emissions realised in practice.
Article
Current intensive pig production is often associated with environmental burdens. However, very few studies deal with the environmental performance of both current and alternative systems of pig production. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the environmental impacts of three contrasting pig production systems using the life cycle assessment method and to identify hot spots for each system. The scenarios compared were conventional good agricultural practice (GAP) according to French production rules, a French quality label scenario called red label (RL) and a French organic scenario called organic agriculture (OA). For each of the three scenarios a “favourable” and an “unfavourable” variant was defined; these variants were used as indicators of uncertainty with respect to key parameters for technical performance and emissions of pollutants. The environmental categories assessed were: eutrophication, climate change, acidification, terrestrial toxicity, energy use, land use and pesticide use. Two functional units (FU) were used to express impacts: 1 kg of pig produced and 1 ha of land surface used. The scenarios were examined with particular emphasis on their contribution to eutrophication and acidification. Given this perspective, the RL scenario can be an interesting alternative to GAP on the condition that its emission of greenhouse gases can be reduced. The results for OA were very dependent on the choice of the FU. Per kg of pig, eutrophication and acidification were similar for OA and GAP, while OA had less eutrophication and acidification than GAP when expressed per ha. For the three scenarios, environmental hot spots and important margins of improvement were identified. Finally, the uncertainty analysis indicated that efforts should be made to produce more reliable estimations of emission factors for NO3, NH3 and N2O in the field.
Article
Data from six experiments (two with dry cows) were used to predict partitioning of gross energy to CH4 in Holstein cows using selected independent variables, some of which were intercorrelated, and a stepwise backward elimination regression procedure. Methane outputs ranged from 3.1 to 8.3% (mean 5.5) of gross energy intake for 134 dry cow balance trials and from 1.7 to 14.9% (mean 5.2) of gross energy intake for 358 lactating cow energy balance trials. This is equivalent to 176 and 300 g/d or 245 and 419 L/d of CH4 for dry and lactating Holstein cows, respectively. Digestibilites of hemicellulose and neutral detergent solubles were positive predictors, and cellulose digestibility was a negative predictor of CH4 output in dry cows fed all forage diets, but hemicellulose digestibility was not a significant variable for predicting CH4 production by lactating cows fed diets with concentrate and forages. Fiber digestibility generally remained in models to predict CH4 output. Except for one data set, regression equations accounted for 50 to 72% of the variation in percentage of gross energy partitioned to CH4 by Holstein cows. Results confirm that increased concentrate feeding reduces CH4 production. Supplementation of lactation diets with fat generally increases fat digestibility, and this trait was associated with reduced CH4 output. Results enable 1) estimation of CH4 output for calculation of metabolizable energy and 2) computation of the contribution from dairy cows to global warming.
Article
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the environmental impacts of a beef-fattening system using the life-cycle assessment (LCA) method and to investigate the effects of feeding length on the LCA results. The functional unit was defined as one animal, and the stages associated with the beef-fattening life cycle, such as feed (concentrate and rough-age) production, feed transport, animal management, animal body (i.e., biological activity of cattle), and the treatment of cattle wastes, were included in the system boundary. Our results suggest that enteric or gut CH4 emissions of cattle were the major source in the impact category of global warming (2,851 kg of CO2 equivalents), whereas NH3 emissions from cattle waste were the major source in the impact categories of acidification (35.1 kg of SO2 equivalents) and eutrophication (6.16 kg of PO4 equivalents). Feed production also contributed a great deal to all categories. A shorter feeding length resulted in lower environmental impacts in all the environmental impact categories examined in the current study, such as global warming and acidification, although there was a difference in effect of reducing environmental impacts among the categories.
Article
The objective of this study was to determine the potential of increased fiber-based concentrates to reduce methane (CH(4)) production in relation to milk yield from late-lactation dairy cows. The effect of 2 levels of concentrate supplementation (0.87 vs. 5.24 kg on a dry matter basis) on herbage voluntary intake, total dry matter intake, milk yield, milk composition, and CH(4) production were determined by way of a randomized block designed grazing trial using lactating Holstein-Friesian cows (231 +/- 44 d in milk) grazing a mixed-grass sward with a regrowth aged 36 d. Increased concentrate supplementation resulted in a significant increase in total dry matter intake, milk yield, fat-corrected milk (FCM) yield, and daily CH(4) production. However, herbage intake and milk composition were unaffected. Although daily CH(4) production increased with fibrous concentrate use the increase was not as great as that observed for milk yield. The decline in CH(4) production per kilogram of milk was nonsignificant; however, when relating CH(4) production to FCM(FCM at 35 g of fat/kg of milk), a declining trend was identified within increasing concentrate supplementation (19.26 and 16.02 g of CH(4)/kg of FCM). These results suggest that increased fibrous concentrate use at pasture, even at modest levels, could reduce enteric CH(4) production per kilogram of animal product. However, the effectiveness of such a strategy is dependent on the maintenance of production quotas and a subsequent decline in the number of livestock needed to fulfill the specified production level.
Article
The problems of overproduction within the European Union countries and the environmental impact of agriculture have lead to the introduction of schemes that aim to reduce both. Beef (Bos taurus) production forms a large component of the Irish agricultural industry and accounts for more than one quarter of agricultural economic output. Recently, the European CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) has been re-evaluated to include supplementary measures that encompass the environmental role of agriculture rather than just the production role. A life cycle assessment (LCA) method was adopted to estimate emissions per kilogram of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of live weight (LW) leaving the farm gate per annum (kg CO2 kg(-1) LW yr(-1)) and per hectare (kg CO2 ha(-1) yr(-1)). Fifteen units engaged in suckler-beef production (five conventional, five in an Irish agri-environmental scheme, and five organic units) were evaluated for emissions per unit product and area. The average emissions from the conventional units were 13.0 kg CO2 kg(-1) LW yr(-1), from the agri-environmental scheme units 12.2 kg CO2 kg(-1) LW yr(-1), and from the organic units 11.1 kg CO2 kg LW yr(-1). The average emissions per unit area from the conventional units was 5346 kg CO2 ha(-1) yr(-1), from the agri-environmental scheme units 4372 kg CO2 ha(-1) yr(-1), and from the organic units 2302 kg CO2 ha(-1) yr(-1). Results indicated that moving toward extensive production could reduce emissions per unit product and area but live weight production per hectare would be reduced.
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