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Greenhouse gas emissions from the Canadian pork industry

Vergé, X.P.C., Dyer, J.A., Desjardins, R.L., Worth, D. (2009). Greenhouse gas emissions from the Canadian pork industry, 121(1), 92-101.


In order to determine the potential of production practices for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it is important to quantify the GHG emissions associated with various types of production. The methodology from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adjusted for conditions in Canada was used to calculate the GHG emissions from the Canadian pork industry for census years from 1981 to 2001. Emissions of CH4, N2O and CO2 from animals, their facilities and the crops used to feed them were estimated. The Pork Crop Complex (PCC), defined as the area used to grow the crops that feed all Canadian swine, was estimated using the recommended livestock feed rations. Fertilizer application and the use of fossil fuel were down-scaled from the national crop areas to the PCC. This study also estimated the GHG emission intensity based on the total weight of live animal production (destined for either slaughter or export). The growth of the swine population led to an increase in GHG emissions from the pork industry by 54% between 1981 and 2001. The main GHG was CH4, representing about 40% of the 6.7 TgCO2equiv. total in 2001. Nitrous oxide and fossil CO2 both accounted for about 30%. Due to changes in management practices, the GHG emission intensity of the Canadian swine industry decreased from 2.99 to 2.31 kg of CO2equiv. per kg of live market animal during the same period. Crown Copyright © 2008.

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