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GHG emissions associated with the livestock sector - Mitigation options to reduce emissions

Desjardins, R.L. 2016. GHG emissions associated with the livestock sector - Mitigation options to reduce emissions. CAPI - AAFC Workshop on Strategies to Reduce Net GHG Emissions in Agriculture. December 12, 2016, Ottawa, ON.

Abstract

The livestock sector is responsible for a significant fraction of total agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada. Methods to estimate the GHG emissions intensity of common livestock products such as meat and milk are described, and typical values for Canada are discussed. For several decades, the Canadian livestock sector has been intensifying and specializing, with the goal of improving productivity and profitability. One impact of these changes in management strategies has been to reduce the intensity of GHG emissions intensity over time. However, in order to realize continued reduction in the emissions intensity into the future additional changes in animal feeding and management will be required. Methods to reduce the emissions intensity that can be employed by producers are discussed, including new and existing feeding strategies that can reduce enteric methane emissions and the use of new and existing technologies that can reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions from manure management. Methods that can be employed by consumers are also discussed, such as food choices to reduce the diet emissions intensity. Continued reduction in the emissions intensity of Canadian livestock products is possible, but will require substantial changes in infrastructure.

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