New study confirms pork industry using less land, water, energy
Unlike previous studies, this research accounts for global warming potential and the use of dried distillers grains in many swine rations.
Source: National Pork Board (NPB)
via National Hog Farmer - Jan 08, 2019
A new study from the University of Arkansas has confirmed what many have known for some time – America’s pig farmers are producing a product that has become increasingly sustainable over the past five decades.
According to the new study, A Retrospective Assessment of U.S. Pork Production: 1960 to 2015, the inputs needed to produce a pound of pork in the United States became more environmentally friendly over time. Specifically, 75.9% less land was needed, 25.1% less water and 7% less energy. This also resulted in a 7.7% smaller carbon footprint (see infographic.)
“The study confirms what we as producers have been doing to make good on our ongoing commitment of doing what’s best for people, pigs and the planet, which is at the heart of the industry’s We Care ethical principles,” says Steve Rommereim, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “It’s a great barometer of our environmental stewardship over the years and gives us a solid benchmark for future improvements.”
The Checkoff-funded study used a comprehensive life-cycle assessment approach and used the best available methodology along with a field-to-farm gate approach. This meant including material and energy flows associated with the full supply chain, beginning with extraction of raw materials through production of live, market-weight pigs, including marketed sows. Unlike previous studies, this research accounts for global warming potential and the use of dried distillers grains in many swine rations.
“This report’s accurate methodology can clearly be seen when you see specific events, such as a sudden spike in mortality rates due to a national disease outbreak, a drought or a change in feed rations,” says Dave Pyburn, DVM, senior vice president of science and technology for the Pork Checkoff...
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