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Environmental systems analysis of arable, meat and milk production

Elmquist, Helena (2005). Environmental systems analysis of arable, meat and milk production. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2005:12
ISBN 91-576-7011-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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Emissions to air and water are related to both soil and plant processes and production-related choices regarding fertilisation, feeding strategy, etc. made by farmers. The main purpose of this thesis was to study the environmental impacts of agricultural production by developing simulation models describing the physical flows of farm production for different scenarios. The SALSA models (Systems Analysis for Sustainable Agriculture) were constructed and case studies carried out on arable, pig meat and milk/meat production. These environmental systems analyses encompassed the entire process from production of input materials (fertilisers, fuel, electricity, etc.) via on-farm processes (machine operations, crop growth, soil/plant emissions, emissions from animals and manure storage, etc.) until products were ready at the farm gate. Simulation outputs in terms of land use and environmental impacts for eutrophication, acidification, global warming potential and primary energy use were evaluated using Life Cycle Assessment methodology. A combined model was also constructed to reflect the interplay between the decision-making farmer and arable production. This was accomplished by linking SALSA to a decision model. The SALSA models proved to be valuable tools in studying the environmental impacts of the processes involved. Since the environmental impacts and energy use values obtained by simulations were divided by the amount of crops, milk, meat, etc. produced, yield had a major influence on the outcome. Nitrogen use was a key factor affecting both yield and all environmental categories. Another important factor was choice of manure management system, where large amounts of ammonia could be emitted, contributing to eutrophication and acidification. There were considerable differences in the environmental effects of crops and feed ingredients. The pig growth study showed that by choosing feedstuffs with a low environmental impact during production, some of the environmental burdens could be avoided. Feed produced on-farm in combination with synthetic amino acids was environmentally favourable for pig production. Simulations of the milk/meat production system indicated that high-level milk production complemented with meat production from a suckler herd gave slightly lower environmental impacts than low-level milk production due to the higher milk production efficiency from more concentrates in the feed. Mineral fertiliser production, fuel for machinery operations and drying were significant energy uses in crop production. In livestock production, electricity for operation of buildings and milking equipment, long-distance shipping of soybean meal, production of plastic silage wrapping and diesel fuel for feeding were significant energy uses. Emissions contributing to global warming potential originated mainly from enteric fermentation in animals and nitrous oxide emissions from soils and recipient waters. Development of the combined simulation model demonstrated the possibility of operationally integrating research from social sciences and natural sciences. The results showed the importance of society supporting more environmentally friendly production in improving sustainability in agriculture.

Authors/Creators:Elmquist, Helena
Title:Environmental systems analysis of arable, meat and milk production
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2005
Number of Pages:69
ALLI. Elmquist, H. Strid Eriksson, I. Öborn, I. Nybrant, T. (2004). Environmental systems analysis of winter wheat, spring barley and spring rapeseed – a study on effects of nitrogen fertiliser application rates using a simulation model. (Manuscript) II. Lindgren, U. Elmquist, H. (2004). Environmental and economic impacts of decision-making at an arable farm – an integrative modeling approach. (Accepted to be published in Ambio, volume 34 no 4-5, 2005) III. Strid Eriksson, I. Elmquist, H. Stern, S. Nybrant, T. (2005). Environmental Systems Analysis of pig production – The impact of feed choice. Int J LCA, volume 10 no 2, 143-154. IV. Elmquist, H. Mattsson, B. (2004). An environmental systems analysis of three milk production strategies and their complementary production of meat, focusing on nutrient flows (Manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-7011-0
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:T Pollution > T01 Pollution
F Plant production > F01 Crop husbandry
L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:meat production, milk production, plant production, environmental impact assessment, systems analysis, simulation models
Keywords:SALSA models, Environmental Systems Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), dairy production, growing finishing pigs, arable production, microsimulation
Permanent URL:
ID Code:846
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Biometry and Engineering
Deposited By: Helena Elmquist
Deposited On:10 May 2005 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:07

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