Evaluating the Environmental Footprint of Pork Production

green stylized pig logoThe use and impacts on land and soils, air, water, and greenhouse gases all make up the environmental footprint of pork production. This section highlights many different aspects of pork production and how those impact emissions of greenhouse gases and other aspects of environmental impact.


Estimating Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
Carbon Footprint and Life Cycle Assessment – The Basics
Which GHGs Are Emitted by Pig Farms? Carbon Footprint of the Pork Industry What Is the Role of Models?
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Basics Diet (Reduced Nitrogen)

What Is Gasification?

Different Types of Gasifiers?

Animal Health Growth Enhancers Algae Nutrient Removal
Solid-Liquid Separation Anaerobic Digestion  
Beyond Greenhouse Gases
Environmental Footprint Land Footprint Economics
(Life Cycle Costing or LCC)
Water Footprint (University fact sheet) Water Footprint (Pork Checkoff) Air Quality

Tools for Farmers

Pork Production Environmental Footprint Calculator – a tool that allows users to input data from a farm and look at the environmental and economic implications of difference choices.

Materials for Educators

Ag in the Classroom activity on exploring interactions between agricultural decisions and greenhouse gas emissions using swine production

Fact sheets: What is a water footprint? | What is a land footprint? | What is a carbon footprint?

Videos/Archived Webinars

  • Thermal Conversion of Animal Manure to Biofuel – Go to archive… (February, 2014)
  • Life Cycle Assessment Modeling for the Pork Industry – Go to archive…. (July, 2012)
  • Producer Association Efforts to Address Carbon Footprint (Pork and Poultry) – Go to archive… (June, 2012)

Research Summaries

a five-year project examining different aspects of the environmental footprint of pork production was recently completed. This project looked at feed rations, animal health, and manure management to provide data for integration into a comprehensive


This information is part of the program “Integrated Resource Management Tool to Mitigate the Carbon Footprint of Swine Produced In the U.S.,” and is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-68002-30208 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Project website: https://lpelc.org/integrated-resource-management-tool-to-mitigate-the-carbon-footprint-of-swine-produced-in-the-united-states/.

Thermal Conversion of Animal Manure to Biofuel

Continued advances in technology have facilitated new avenues to access and extract energy (in various forms) from materials such as animal manure and crop residues that have not traditionally been considered viable fuel sources. This presentation discusses the use of thermochemical processes, including gasification, to produce biofuels from animal manure and was originally broadcast on February 28, 2014. More… Continue reading “Thermal Conversion of Animal Manure to Biofuel”

Life-Cycle Assessment Modeling for the Pork Industry

green stylized pig logoDo the pork industry’s efforts to improve production and economics affect its greenhouse gas emissions and carbon foot print? Research by the University of Arkansas combined with efforts led by the National Pork Board indicates that increased production efficiencies have reduced the carbon footprint of each pound of pork produced.

Following up on the June 15th, 2012 webcast, this webinar presents an overview of a research and extension project wherein the existing research-based carbon footprint model is refined and expanded. The project goal is to improve this model’s ability to serve as a farm-level educational and decision aid tool that incorporates environmental, production, and economic concerns. The webcast also highlights feed management concepts and ongoing research, which are major components of the project. This webcast was originally broadcast on July 20, 2012. More… Continue reading “Life-Cycle Assessment Modeling for the Pork Industry”