Environmental impact of the typical heavy pig production in Italy

Environmental impact of the typical heavy pig production in Italy The Italian pig sector is mainly focused on the production of heavy pigs used for the traditional dry-cured hams. At slaughter a minimum of 160 kg and 9 months age are required to comply with the production specifications of the ham consortia. Advancing livestock age and increasing fat deposition negatively affect feed conversion ratio, which is one of the main determinants of meat production environmental impact. The aim of the study was to provide a first evaluation of the environmental impact potentials of heavy pig production in Italy through a Life Cycle Assessment approach. Additional objectives were to identify the main hot spots and the most important data gaps in the analysis. A cradle to farm gate Life Cycle Assessment was performed in 6 intensive pig farms located in Northern Italy. Key parameters concerning on-farm activities, inputs and outputs were collected through personal interviews with farmers. The functional unit was 1 kg live weight. Direct land use change was considered in the emissions of imported soybean. The average pig slaughter live weight was 168.7 ± 33.3 kg. Environmental impacts per kg live weight were generally higher than those generated in the production of pigs slaughtered at lower weight. The global warming potential was on average 4.25 ± 1.03 kg CO2 eq/kg live weight. Feed chain (crop production at farm and purchased feed) was the major source of impact for all the categories and the most important hotspot of heavy pig production. Farm size and reproductive efficiency appeared important factors in the environmental burden of heavy pig production: the largest and most efficient farm (as live weight produced per sow) had impact potentials per kg live weight much lower than those generated in the less efficient farm and similar to the ones reported on pigs slaughtered at a lower weight. The wide range of impact values within farms reveals opportunities for environmental improvements in the production of the traditional heavy pig. There is a need for further data and models on methane enteric emissions and nitrogen excretions above 100 kg of live weight. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Cleaner Production Elsevier

Environmental impact of the typical heavy pig production in Italy

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/environmental-impact-of-the-typical-heavy-pig-production-in-italy-uijS78Ym07
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0959-6526
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.11.029
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Italian pig sector is mainly focused on the production of heavy pigs used for the traditional dry-cured hams. At slaughter a minimum of 160 kg and 9 months age are required to comply with the production specifications of the ham consortia. Advancing livestock age and increasing fat deposition negatively affect feed conversion ratio, which is one of the main determinants of meat production environmental impact. The aim of the study was to provide a first evaluation of the environmental impact potentials of heavy pig production in Italy through a Life Cycle Assessment approach. Additional objectives were to identify the main hot spots and the most important data gaps in the analysis. A cradle to farm gate Life Cycle Assessment was performed in 6 intensive pig farms located in Northern Italy. Key parameters concerning on-farm activities, inputs and outputs were collected through personal interviews with farmers. The functional unit was 1 kg live weight. Direct land use change was considered in the emissions of imported soybean. The average pig slaughter live weight was 168.7 ± 33.3 kg. Environmental impacts per kg live weight were generally higher than those generated in the production of pigs slaughtered at lower weight. The global warming potential was on average 4.25 ± 1.03 kg CO2 eq/kg live weight. Feed chain (crop production at farm and purchased feed) was the major source of impact for all the categories and the most important hotspot of heavy pig production. Farm size and reproductive efficiency appeared important factors in the environmental burden of heavy pig production: the largest and most efficient farm (as live weight produced per sow) had impact potentials per kg live weight much lower than those generated in the less efficient farm and similar to the ones reported on pigs slaughtered at a lower weight. The wide range of impact values within farms reveals opportunities for environmental improvements in the production of the traditional heavy pig. There is a need for further data and models on methane enteric emissions and nitrogen excretions above 100 kg of live weight.

Journal

Journal of Cleaner ProductionElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2017

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off