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Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Calf- and Yearling-Fed Beef Production Systems, With and Without the Use of Growth Promotants.

Basarab J, Baron V, López-Campos Ó, Aalhus J, Haugen-Kozyra K, Okine E - Animals (Basel) (2012)

Bottom Line: Calf-fed reduced the carbon footprint by 6.3-7.5% compared with yearling-fed.When expressed as kg CO₂e per kg carcass weight per year the carbon footprint of calf-fed production was 73.9-76.1% lower than yearling-fed production, and calf-fed implanted was 85% lower than hormone-free yearling-fed.Reducing GHG emissions from beef production may be accomplished by improving the feed efficiency of the cow herd, decreasing the days on low quality feeds, and reducing the age at harvest of youthful cattle.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Lacombe Research Centre, 6000 C & E Trail, Lacombe, AB T4L 1W1, Canada. john.basarab@gov.ab.ca.

ABSTRACT
A spring calving herd consisting of about 350 beef cows, 14-16 breeding bulls, 60 replacement heifers and 112 steers were used to compare the whole-farm GHG emissions among calf-fed vs. yearling-fed production systems with and without growth implants. Carbon footprint ranged from 11.63 to 13.22 kg CO₂e per kg live weight (19.87-22.52 kg CO₂e per kg carcass weight). Enteric CH₄ was the largest source of GHG emissions (53-54%), followed by manure N₂O (20-22%), cropping N₂O (11%), energy use CO₂ (9-9.5%), and manure CH₄ (4-6%). Beef cow accounted for 77% and 58% of the GHG emissions in the calf-fed and yearling-fed. Feeders accounted for the second highest GHG emissions (15% calf-fed; 35-36% yearling-fed). Implants reduced the carbon footprint by 4.9-5.1% compared with hormone-free. Calf-fed reduced the carbon footprint by 6.3-7.5% compared with yearling-fed. When expressed as kg CO₂e per kg carcass weight per year the carbon footprint of calf-fed production was 73.9-76.1% lower than yearling-fed production, and calf-fed implanted was 85% lower than hormone-free yearling-fed. Reducing GHG emissions from beef production may be accomplished by improving the feed efficiency of the cow herd, decreasing the days on low quality feeds, and reducing the age at harvest of youthful cattle.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions by source resulting from unimplanted and implanted calf-fed and yearling-fed beef production systems (CO2) equivalents; 160 cow-herd assumed). (a) Calf-fed, Hormone Free. (b) Calf-fed, Implanted. (c) Yearling-fed, Hormone Free (d) Yearling-fed, Implanted.
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animals-02-00195-f002: Breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions by source resulting from unimplanted and implanted calf-fed and yearling-fed beef production systems (CO2) equivalents; 160 cow-herd assumed). (a) Calf-fed, Hormone Free. (b) Calf-fed, Implanted. (c) Yearling-fed, Hormone Free (d) Yearling-fed, Implanted.

Mentions: Total animal emissions of GHG, expressed as kg CO2e hd−1 yr−1, varied by year and ranged from 3,394 to 3,877 for beef cows, 4,101 to 4,912 for breeding bulls and 980 to 1,124 for replacement heifers. Non-implanted calf-fed steers ranged from 910 to 1,000 while implanted calf-fed steers ranged from 935 to 1,066 CO2e hd−1 from weaning to slaughter at the farm gate. Total animal emissions from weaning to slaughter were 3.0–3.3 times higher for yearling-fed compared with calf-fed steers and ranged from 2,754 to 3,312 for non-implanted steers and from 2,958 to 3,345 for implanted steers. Total emissions for feeder heifers were 2.9% lower than for feeder steers. The variation in GHG emissions within cattle category was due to yearly differences in diet TDN, CP and DMI, and time on each diet. The beef cow was responsible for 77% of the GHG emissions in the calf-fed and 58% in the yearling-fed beef production system (Table A7; Figure 2). Feeder steers and heifers accounted for the second highest proportion of total GHG, with the calf- and yearling-fed systems producing 15% and 35–36% of the total GHG, respectively. The proportion of GHG resulting from replacement heifers, replacement bulls or herd bulls was small (1–3.6%) and depended on beef production system. The proportions for the calf-fed system are similar to those presented by Beauchemin et al. [11] for feeders slaughtered at 16.5 mo of age. Total emissions to produce a youthful beef animal from conception through to harvest at the farm gate ranged from 8.2 to 11.0 t CO2e. To put this into perspective, the GHG emission from a mid-sized car are about 6.8 to 7.0 t CO2e yr−1 which includes the car’s direct emissions of CO2, along with CO2 emitted in producing and distributing fuel but not from manufacturing the car (U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www.fueleconomy.org).


Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Calf- and Yearling-Fed Beef Production Systems, With and Without the Use of Growth Promotants.

Basarab J, Baron V, López-Campos Ó, Aalhus J, Haugen-Kozyra K, Okine E - Animals (Basel) (2012)

Breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions by source resulting from unimplanted and implanted calf-fed and yearling-fed beef production systems (CO2) equivalents; 160 cow-herd assumed). (a) Calf-fed, Hormone Free. (b) Calf-fed, Implanted. (c) Yearling-fed, Hormone Free (d) Yearling-fed, Implanted.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494322&req=5

animals-02-00195-f002: Breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions by source resulting from unimplanted and implanted calf-fed and yearling-fed beef production systems (CO2) equivalents; 160 cow-herd assumed). (a) Calf-fed, Hormone Free. (b) Calf-fed, Implanted. (c) Yearling-fed, Hormone Free (d) Yearling-fed, Implanted.
Mentions: Total animal emissions of GHG, expressed as kg CO2e hd−1 yr−1, varied by year and ranged from 3,394 to 3,877 for beef cows, 4,101 to 4,912 for breeding bulls and 980 to 1,124 for replacement heifers. Non-implanted calf-fed steers ranged from 910 to 1,000 while implanted calf-fed steers ranged from 935 to 1,066 CO2e hd−1 from weaning to slaughter at the farm gate. Total animal emissions from weaning to slaughter were 3.0–3.3 times higher for yearling-fed compared with calf-fed steers and ranged from 2,754 to 3,312 for non-implanted steers and from 2,958 to 3,345 for implanted steers. Total emissions for feeder heifers were 2.9% lower than for feeder steers. The variation in GHG emissions within cattle category was due to yearly differences in diet TDN, CP and DMI, and time on each diet. The beef cow was responsible for 77% of the GHG emissions in the calf-fed and 58% in the yearling-fed beef production system (Table A7; Figure 2). Feeder steers and heifers accounted for the second highest proportion of total GHG, with the calf- and yearling-fed systems producing 15% and 35–36% of the total GHG, respectively. The proportion of GHG resulting from replacement heifers, replacement bulls or herd bulls was small (1–3.6%) and depended on beef production system. The proportions for the calf-fed system are similar to those presented by Beauchemin et al. [11] for feeders slaughtered at 16.5 mo of age. Total emissions to produce a youthful beef animal from conception through to harvest at the farm gate ranged from 8.2 to 11.0 t CO2e. To put this into perspective, the GHG emission from a mid-sized car are about 6.8 to 7.0 t CO2e yr−1 which includes the car’s direct emissions of CO2, along with CO2 emitted in producing and distributing fuel but not from manufacturing the car (U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www.fueleconomy.org).

Bottom Line: Calf-fed reduced the carbon footprint by 6.3-7.5% compared with yearling-fed.When expressed as kg CO₂e per kg carcass weight per year the carbon footprint of calf-fed production was 73.9-76.1% lower than yearling-fed production, and calf-fed implanted was 85% lower than hormone-free yearling-fed.Reducing GHG emissions from beef production may be accomplished by improving the feed efficiency of the cow herd, decreasing the days on low quality feeds, and reducing the age at harvest of youthful cattle.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Lacombe Research Centre, 6000 C & E Trail, Lacombe, AB T4L 1W1, Canada. john.basarab@gov.ab.ca.

ABSTRACT
A spring calving herd consisting of about 350 beef cows, 14-16 breeding bulls, 60 replacement heifers and 112 steers were used to compare the whole-farm GHG emissions among calf-fed vs. yearling-fed production systems with and without growth implants. Carbon footprint ranged from 11.63 to 13.22 kg CO₂e per kg live weight (19.87-22.52 kg CO₂e per kg carcass weight). Enteric CH₄ was the largest source of GHG emissions (53-54%), followed by manure N₂O (20-22%), cropping N₂O (11%), energy use CO₂ (9-9.5%), and manure CH₄ (4-6%). Beef cow accounted for 77% and 58% of the GHG emissions in the calf-fed and yearling-fed. Feeders accounted for the second highest GHG emissions (15% calf-fed; 35-36% yearling-fed). Implants reduced the carbon footprint by 4.9-5.1% compared with hormone-free. Calf-fed reduced the carbon footprint by 6.3-7.5% compared with yearling-fed. When expressed as kg CO₂e per kg carcass weight per year the carbon footprint of calf-fed production was 73.9-76.1% lower than yearling-fed production, and calf-fed implanted was 85% lower than hormone-free yearling-fed. Reducing GHG emissions from beef production may be accomplished by improving the feed efficiency of the cow herd, decreasing the days on low quality feeds, and reducing the age at harvest of youthful cattle.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus