Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 431900
Title Exploring variability in methods and data sensitivity in carbon footprints of feed ingredients
Author(s) Middelaar, C.E. van; Cederberg, C.; Vellinga, Th.V.; Werf, H.M.G.; Boer, I.J.M. de
Source The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 18 (2013)4. - ISSN 0948-3349 - p. 768 - 782.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11367-012-0521-9
Department(s) Animal Production Systems
LR - Environment
WIAS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) life-cycle assessment - greenhouse-gas emissions - egg-production systems - land-use change - milk-production - pig production - mitigation - deforestation - netherlands - indicators
Abstract Purpose - Production of feed is an important contributor to life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon footprints (CFPs), of livestock products. Consequences of methodological choices and data sensitivity on CFPs of feed ingredients were explored to improve comparison and interpretation of CFP studies. Methods and data for emissions from cultivation and processing, land use (LU), and land use change (LUC) were analyzed. Method - For six ingredients (maize, wheat, palm kernel expeller, rapeseed meal, soybean meal, and beet pulp), CFPs resulting from a single change in methods and data were compared with a reference CFP, i.e., based on IPCC Tier 1 methods, and data from literature. Results and discussion Results - show that using more detailed methods to compute N2O emissions from cultivation hardly affected reference CFPs, except for methods to determine NO - 3 leaching (contributing to indirect N2O emissions) in which the influence is about -7 to +12 %. Overall, CFPs appeared most sensitive to changes in crop yield and applied synthetic fertilizer N. The inclusion of LULUC emissions can change CFPs considerably, i.e., up to 877 %. The level of LUC emissions per feed ingredient highly depends on the method chosen, as well as on assumptions on area of LUC, C stock levels (mainly aboveground C and soil C), and amortization period. Conclusions - We concluded that variability in methods and data can significantly affect CFPs of feed ingredients and hence CFPs of livestock products. Transparency in methods and data is therefore required. For harmonization, focus should be on methods to calculate NO - 3 leaching and emissions from LULUC. It is important to consider LUC in CFP studies of food, feed, and bioenergy products
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