A Quantitative Assessment of Beneficial Management Practices to Reduce Carbon and Reactive Nitrogen Footprints of Dairy Farms in the Great Lakes Region

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Purpose 

Assessing and improving the sustainability of dairy production is essential to secure future food production. Implementation of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) can reduce carbon and reactive nitrogen footprints of dairy farms. BMPs can and have been developed for different farm components, including feed, manure management and field cultivation practices.…

Carbon Footprint, Life Cycle Assessment and the Pork Industry

green stylized pig logoAnimal agriculture in the U.S. contributes approximately 3.5% of all man-made greenhouse gases (GHGs). If you look at pork production, it accounts for just 0.34% of all emissions. (Source: U.S. EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory released April, 2015).

When you total up all the GHG emissions from a particular activity or process, it is called a carbon footprint.

What Greenhouse Gases Are Emitted by Pig Farms?

green stylized pig logoIn 2014, all man-made sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. were estimated to be 6,870.5 MMT CO2e (millions of metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent). Agriculture was estimated to be responsible 8.3% of those emissions (573.6 MMT CO2e per year). When looking specifically at animal agriculture, all different species together emit an estimated 243.4 MMT CO2e/year, which is 3.5% of all U.S.…

Sources of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

The conversation about climate change largely revolves around greenhouse gases. Agriculture is both a source and sink for greenhouse gases (GHG). A source is a net contribution to the atmosphere, while a sink is a net withdrawal of greenhouse gases.  In the United States, agriculture is a relatively small contributor, with approximately 8% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, as seen in Figure 1.…