|10:30||Aklilu Alemu, Shannan Little, Xiying Hao, Alan Iwaasa, Vern Baron, Lilong Chai, Henry Janzen, Karen Beauchemin, Don Thompsonand Roland Kroebel
Application of life cycle assessment approach to beef production systems in the Canadian prairies with regard to environmental impact and energy use efficiency
ABSTRACT. Native grasslands are important sources of forage for cow-calf production systems in the Canadian Prairie, and at the same time those systems have been identified as the major source of enteric methane in the Canadian livestock sector.1 In an effort to improve productivity and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions alike, numerous grazing management practices including stocking density and grazing season/timing have been proposed. However, as ripple effects from implementing any of these strategies have the potential to counteract the efforts elsewhere, an evaluation of their net impacts on farm GHG emissions and energy use is required. Therefore, the study was aimed to investigate the impact of pasture and grazing managements on the total farm GHG emissions.
A life cycle assessment approach was conducted on a beef production system in Canadian Prairie using Holos model, a whole-farm model based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change methodology modified for Canadian conditions.2 Data were collected from several sources including long-term grazing studies near Stavely, Alberta initiated in 1949 and Swift current, Saskatchewan initiated in 2000. Component based experimental studies demonstrated that grazing management (e.g., stocking density, grazing season) affected pasture quality and productivity3, carbon sequestration4, soil N2O emissions and NO3 leaching loss5 as well as enteric methane emissions from grazing animals.6 Results from our study demonstrate the impacts of grazing management practices on the net farm emissions and energy use. Results are expressed with a functional unit of kg live and carcass weight as well as ha of land. The system boundary is at the farm gate.
The outcome will further strengthen the application of lifecycle analysis approaches to understand the impacts of management practices on sustainability from a holistic point of view and demonstrate at the same time the need to understand the inter-relationship of processes when assessing agricultural production systems. Furthermore, results will be used for decision-making by producers, producer organization and policy makers.
1Beauchemin, K.A., H.H. Janzen, S.M. Little, T.A. McAllister and S.M. McGinn. 2011. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from beef production in western Canada – Evaluation using farm-based life cycle assessment. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 166-167: 663-677. 2Little, S.M, K.A. Beauchemin, H.H. Janzen, R. Kroebel and K. Maclean. 2013. Holos – A tool to estimate and reduce greenhouse gases from farms. Methodology and Algorithms for Version 2.0. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 104 pgs. 3Li, C., H. Xiying, D.W. Walter, Z. Mengli and H. Guodong. 2009. Seasonal response of herbage production and its nutrient and mineral contents to long-term cattle grazing on a Rough Fescue grassland. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 132: 32–38. 4Derner, J.D. and G.E., Schuman. 2007. Carbon sequestration and rangelands: A synthesis of land management and precipitation effects. J. Soil Water Cons. 62: 77-85. 5de Klein, C.A.M., L.C. Smith, and R.M. Monaghan. 2006. Restricted autumn grazing to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from dairy pastures in Southland, New Zealand. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 112: 192–199. 6Pinares-Patiño, C.S., P. D’Hour, J.-P. Jouany, C. Martin. 2007. Effects of stocking rate on methane and carbon dioxide emissions from grazing cattle. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ.121: 30–46.
|10:45||Robert Parker, Peter Tyedmers, Caleb Gardner, Bridget Green, Klaas Hartmann and Reg Watson
Energy use and life cycle emissions of the global fishing industry
ABSTRACT. Seafood is the largest source of animal protein and most heavily traded food commodity globally (1). Over half of the world’s fish and shellfish is produced by wild capture fisheries. A growing body of research has aimed to quantify and compare the life cycle energy use and emissions of fishery and aquaculture supply chains and products [2,3]. A consistent finding of this work has been the overwhelming influence of fuel consumption rates by fishing vessels, which can vary dramatically between fisheries targeting different species, employing different fishing gears, and operating in different environments.
This research combines energy and LCA findings with a global fisheries catch database to estimate worldwide fuel use and related emissions, track changes in efficiency since 1990, and map the relative performance of the global fishing fleet by country and fishing sector.
Globally, the marine fishing industry is estimated to consume 37 billion litres of fuel and has a life cycle carbon footprint of 150 million tonnes CO2e up to the point of landing, an average of 1.9 kg CO2e per kg fish. This ranges from less than 0.4 kg CO2e/kg in many small pelagic fisheries (anchovies, herrings, etc.), to over 10 kg CO2e/kg in some crustacean fisheries. This is reflected in national fleets targeting lobster and shrimp species, such as that of Australia, having a much larger carbon footprint than those primarily targeting small pelagic species, including Chile, Peru, and, to a lesser extent, the United States. The role of fisheries in the context of sustainable food production and consumption, potential drivers of efficiency improvement, and economic and policy implications for the industry moving forward, are discussed.
FAO, 2014. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization.
Vázquez-Rowe, I., Hopsido, A., Moreira, M.T., Feijoo, G., 2012. Best practices in life cycle assessment implementation in fisheries: Improving and broadening environmental assessment for seafood production systems. Trends Food Sci. Tech. 28(2), 116-131.
Avadí, A., Fréon, P., 2012. Life cycle assessment of fisheries: A review for fisheries scientists and managers. Fish. Res. 143, 21-38.
|11:00||Jasmina Burek, Greg Thoma, Jennie Popp, Charles Maxwell and Rick Ulrich
Increasing Sustainability of Pig Production by Changing Pig Diets
ABSTRACT. Livestock production is one of the major causes of the world’s environmental impacts including agricultural land use, water, and climate change impact. The cradle-to-grave pig production and consumption life cycle assessment (LCA) showed that 50% of greenhouse gases originate from feed ingredients in the US (Thoma et al. 2011). Feed account for 70% of all costs in pig production. Thus, to improve the sustainability of pig production it is necessary to increase the sustainability of pig diets. The main goal of this research is to develop cost-effective and environmentally sound pig diets in the US. The sustainable diets need to satisfy several criteria including efficient animal nutrition, cost, feed availability, and sustainable pig production practice. The modelling of sustainable pig diets includes three models: a diet formulation model, pig growth model, and cradle-to-market pig LCA model of pig production. Different diet formulations are compared using the multi-criteria analysis. To ensure robust and comprehensive multi-objective analyses models include regional feed availability, regional environmental footprints and costs, different pig production practices, variation of maximum inclusion rates, and maximum amounts of synthetic amino acids. The single-objective modeling of average US pig diets proposed feed ingredients that hold potential to reduce one or multiple environmental footprints. For example, least cost pig diets include wheat, corn dried distillers grain, and sorghum. Least carbon footprint pig diets include wheat, wheat middlings, soybeans, soybean hulls, and molasses. Least water footprint pig diets include peas, canola meal, flaxseed meal, barley, alfalfa meal, and feather meal. Least land use pig diets include corn DDG, rice bran, corn gluten feed, molasses, and feather meal. This suggests that the solution to increase sustainability of pig production in the US is diversification of feed ingredients (protein and energy).
|11:15||Isaac Emery and Sally Brown
Low-Carbon Urban Lettuce
ABSTRACT. Community gardens and the local food movement are frequently touted as key ways to conserve water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But can using compost and rainwater and substantially reduce resource use?
To evaluate the effectiveness of storing urban rainwater, recycling nutrients through composting, and supplying food locally, we used life cycle assessment to compare the greenhouse gas emissions of supplying lettuce to customers in Seattle with either conventionally grown lettuce from central California or with lettuce grown in a local community garden.
Conventional Californian lettuce produces 0.5 to 0.7 kg CO2-equivalent emissions per kg of lettuce, depending on truck fuel efficiency during transportation to Seattle. Transportation and water supply are the major contributors to emissions. By using compost fertilizer produced from waste that would otherwise have gone to a landfill, locally-grown urban lettuce may sequester up to 0.35 kg of emissions. Less water is necessary for lettuce grown in Seattle as well.
Closing the nutrient loop has many benefits, including lower greenhouse gas emissions. By using material that would otherwise go to waste, urban farms and gardens can substitute plentiful local resources for distant, costly industrial processes and reduce the demand for water-intensive crops from arid farmland.