Limits...
A Greenhouse Gas and Soil Carbon Model for Estimating the Carbon Footprint of Livestock Production in Canada.

Vergé XP, Dyer JA, Worth DE, Smith WN, Desjardins RL, McConkey BG - Animals (Basel) (2012)

Bottom Line: The payback period was defined as the number of years required for a GHG reduction to equal soil carbon lost from the associated land use shift.Displacing beef cattle with hogs resulted in a surplus area of forage.Agricultural GHG mitigation policies will inevitably involve a trade-off between production, land use and GHG emission reduction.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: AAFC Consultant, Ottawa, ON, K2A 1G6, Canada. Xavier_vrg@yahoo.fr.

ABSTRACT
To assess tradeoffs between environmental sustainability and changes in food production on agricultural land in Canada the Unified Livestock Industry and Crop Emissions Estimation System (ULICEES) was developed. It incorporates four livestock specific GHG assessments in a single model. To demonstrate the application of ULICEES, 10% of beef cattle protein production was assumed to be displaced with an equivalent amount of pork protein. Without accounting for the loss of soil carbon, this 10% shift reduced GHG emissions by 2.5 TgCO₂e y(-1). The payback period was defined as the number of years required for a GHG reduction to equal soil carbon lost from the associated land use shift. A payback period that is shorter than 40 years represents a net long term decrease in GHG emissions. Displacing beef cattle with hogs resulted in a surplus area of forage. When this residual land was left in ungrazed perennial forage, the payback periods were less than 4 years and when it was reseeded to annual crops, they were equal to or less than 40 years. They were generally greater than 40 years when this land was used to raise cattle. Agricultural GHG mitigation policies will inevitably involve a trade-off between production, land use and GHG emission reduction. ULICEES is a model that can objectively assess these trade-offs for Canadian agriculture.

No MeSH data available.


Areas in the livestock crop complex in each of four types of livestock in eastern and western Canada in 2001 grouped by three general land use classes.
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animals-02-00437-f003: Areas in the livestock crop complex in each of four types of livestock in eastern and western Canada in 2001 grouped by three general land use classes.

Mentions: Figure 3 shows the areas in each of these four crop complexes and groups land use according to those cultivated for grain, harvested forage, or improved pasture. The BCC and DCC include all three classes of land (grain, forage and pasture), but the only land in the PCC and ACC is land that can produce grains and pulses (annuals). Since soil carbon is generally higher under perennial forage than under annual crops [10], a shift from ruminant to non-ruminant livestock production would reduce soil carbon stock. Silage corn, although an annual crop, was grouped with the forages in Figure 3. Pasture represents an appreciable land use only in the western beef industry. It was assumed in this study that most of that land would be unsuitable, or at least the last land selected, for reseeding to grow annual feed grains or harvested field crops. Hence, that land would most likely continue to be under permanent (perennial) cover under the 10% livestock redistribution scenarios examined in this paper.


A Greenhouse Gas and Soil Carbon Model for Estimating the Carbon Footprint of Livestock Production in Canada.

Vergé XP, Dyer JA, Worth DE, Smith WN, Desjardins RL, McConkey BG - Animals (Basel) (2012)

Areas in the livestock crop complex in each of four types of livestock in eastern and western Canada in 2001 grouped by three general land use classes.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494297&req=5

animals-02-00437-f003: Areas in the livestock crop complex in each of four types of livestock in eastern and western Canada in 2001 grouped by three general land use classes.
Mentions: Figure 3 shows the areas in each of these four crop complexes and groups land use according to those cultivated for grain, harvested forage, or improved pasture. The BCC and DCC include all three classes of land (grain, forage and pasture), but the only land in the PCC and ACC is land that can produce grains and pulses (annuals). Since soil carbon is generally higher under perennial forage than under annual crops [10], a shift from ruminant to non-ruminant livestock production would reduce soil carbon stock. Silage corn, although an annual crop, was grouped with the forages in Figure 3. Pasture represents an appreciable land use only in the western beef industry. It was assumed in this study that most of that land would be unsuitable, or at least the last land selected, for reseeding to grow annual feed grains or harvested field crops. Hence, that land would most likely continue to be under permanent (perennial) cover under the 10% livestock redistribution scenarios examined in this paper.

Bottom Line: The payback period was defined as the number of years required for a GHG reduction to equal soil carbon lost from the associated land use shift.Displacing beef cattle with hogs resulted in a surplus area of forage.Agricultural GHG mitigation policies will inevitably involve a trade-off between production, land use and GHG emission reduction.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: AAFC Consultant, Ottawa, ON, K2A 1G6, Canada. Xavier_vrg@yahoo.fr.

ABSTRACT
To assess tradeoffs between environmental sustainability and changes in food production on agricultural land in Canada the Unified Livestock Industry and Crop Emissions Estimation System (ULICEES) was developed. It incorporates four livestock specific GHG assessments in a single model. To demonstrate the application of ULICEES, 10% of beef cattle protein production was assumed to be displaced with an equivalent amount of pork protein. Without accounting for the loss of soil carbon, this 10% shift reduced GHG emissions by 2.5 TgCO₂e y(-1). The payback period was defined as the number of years required for a GHG reduction to equal soil carbon lost from the associated land use shift. A payback period that is shorter than 40 years represents a net long term decrease in GHG emissions. Displacing beef cattle with hogs resulted in a surplus area of forage. When this residual land was left in ungrazed perennial forage, the payback periods were less than 4 years and when it was reseeded to annual crops, they were equal to or less than 40 years. They were generally greater than 40 years when this land was used to raise cattle. Agricultural GHG mitigation policies will inevitably involve a trade-off between production, land use and GHG emission reduction. ULICEES is a model that can objectively assess these trade-offs for Canadian agriculture.

No MeSH data available.