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Raucci G.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Moreira C.S.,DeltaCO2 Sustentabilidade Ambiental | Alves P.A.,DeltaCO2 Sustentabilidade Ambiental | Mello F.F.C.,University of Sao Paulo | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

Abstract In recent years, the debate about environmental impacts and the sustainability of agricultural products has increased. Environmental impact indicators are increasingly being demanded for policy and decision-making processes. Consumers are more and more concerned about the quality of food products and now looking for those with a low environmental impact, with a particular attention to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There are few studies regarding the GHG emissions associated with the Brazilian soybean production. The aim of this study was to evaluate the main sources of GHG in soybean production in the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Our analysis considered the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) from cradle to farm gate. We evaluated 55 farms in the crop years of 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10, accounting for 180,000 ha of soybean cultivation area and totaling 114 individual situations. The results indicated that the largest source of GHG in the soybean production is the decomposition of crop residues (36%), followed by fuel use (19%), fertilizer application (16%), liming (13%), pesticides (7%), seeds (8%) and electricity consumed at the farms (<1%). The average GHG emissions considering the three crop years were 0.186 kg of CO2eq kg-1 of soybean produced. We also categorized the results based on land use intensity and production areas. This study contributed to identify the main sources of GHG in the soybean production and indicate mitigation priorities associated to the soybean cultivation in Brazil. Further studies, including field experiments, should contribute to a better understanding of the profile of emissions from crop residues in Brazil. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Cerri C.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Moreira C.S.,DeltaCO2 Sustentabilidade Ambiental | Alves P.A.,DeltaCO2 Sustentabilidade Ambiental | Raucci G.S.,DeltaCO2 Sustentabilidade Ambiental | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2016

In order to meet the predicted growth in world population and increasing demand for food, the offer of animal products, especially in developing countries will also have to increase. Cattle-farming for beef production is one of the most important agricultural activities in Brazil. The country has the major commercial herd in the world and has achieved the position of leading beef exporter. The Brazilian beef sector has been under constant pressure from the international community to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and meet international sustainability standards. There are few studies regarding the GHG emissions associated with the Brazilian cattle production. The aim of this study was to evaluate the main sources of GHG in beef cattle production in the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. We evaluated 22 farms distributed throughout the state in the year of 2011, accounting for approximately 60,000 ha of pasture area. The results indicated that the largest source of GHG in extensive beef production comes directly from the animals (89-98%). From these, 67-79% are from enteric fermentation, followed by manure decomposition (20-33%). Fuel combustion for farm operations, use of agricultural inputs and electricity consumption where other evaluated sources. The carbon footprints of the farms with herd size limited to 2000 head ranged from 4.8 to 8.2 kg of CO2eq per kg of live weight gain. For the farms with more than 2000 head, the carbon footprints ranged from 5.0 to 7.2 kg of CO2eq per kg of live weight gain. This study contributed to identify the main sources of GHG in the extensive cattle production and indicate mitigation priorities in Brazil. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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