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Pelletier N.,Global Ecologic Environmental Consulting and Management Services | Ibarburu M.,Iowa State University | Xin H.,Iowa State University
Poultry Science

The US egg industry has evolved considerably over recent decades by incorporating new technologies and production practices. To date, there has been no comprehensive assessment of the resource demand and environmental effects of these changes. This study quantifies the environmental footprint of egg production supply chains in the United States for 2010 compared with 1960 using life cycle assessment. The analysis considers changes in both foreground (e.g., hen production performance) and background (e.g., efficiencies of energy provision, fertilizer production, production of feed inputs, and transport modes) system variables. The results revealed that feed efficiency, feed composition, and manure management are the 3 primary factors that determine the environmental impacts of US egg production. Further research and improvements in these areas will aid in continual reduction of the environmental footprint of the US egg industry over time. Per kilogram of eggs produced, the environmental footprint for 2010 is 65% lower in acidifying emissions, 71% lower in eutrophying emissions, 71% lower in greenhouse gas emissions, and 31% lower in cumulative energy demand compared with 1960. Table egg production was 30% higher in 2010; however, the total environmental footprint was 54% lower in acidifying emissions, 63% lower in eutrophying emissions, 63% lower in greenhouse gas emissions, and 13% lower in cumulative energy demand compared with 1960. reductions in the environmental footprint over the 50-yr interval considered can be attributed to the following: 27 to 30% due to improved efficiencies of background systems, which outweighed the declining energy return on energy invested for primary energy sources; 30 to 44% due to changes in feed composition; and 28 to 43% due to improved bird performance. © 2014 Poultry Science Association Inc. Source

Avadi A.,Montpellier University | Avadi A.,IRD Montpellier | Pelletier N.,Global Ecologic Environmental Consulting and Management Services | Aubin J.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 3 more authors.

We used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to evaluate some of the environmental implications of using commercial versus artisanal feeds in Peruvian freshwater aquaculture of trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) and black pacu (Colossoma macropomum). Several scenarios believed to be representative of current Peruvian aquaculture practices were modelled, namely: production of trout in Andean lake cages; and culture of black pacu and tilapia in Amazonian and coastal lowland ponds, respectively. In general, Peruvian aquaculture is characterised by low technological intensity practices. Use of commercial aquafeeds is widespread, but artisanal feeds are frequently used in certain small-scale farms.We found that trout feeds feature higher environmental burdens than do black pacu and tilapia feeds. A similar trend is observed for production of these species. Across species, the substitution of artisanal with commercial feeds, despite improving feed conversion ratios in all cases, does not always reduce overall environmental impacts. This is due to the additional energy use and transportation requirements associated with commercial feed inputs. The substitution of artisanal feeds with commercial ones generally increases environmental impacts of the fish farming systems for the specific feeds considered, despite enhanced FCRs and economies of scale. This is due to the higher environmental impacts associated to certain feed inputs used in commercial feeds, in particular highly refined feed inputs. Consequently, in light of the importance of feeds to overall life cycle impacts of aquaculture production, the Peruvian aquafeed industry should preferentially source less refined and, in general, less environmentally burdened feed inputs (e.g. Bolivian soybean products over Brazilian, high quality over lower quality fishmeal, avoiding protein concentrates, etc.), to the extent that fish farming performance (i.e. feed conversion efficiency and cost structure) is not strongly affected. Among species, black pacu aquaculture shows the best environmental performance. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Pelletier N.,Global Ecologic Environmental Consulting and Management Services | Audsley E.,Cranfield University | Brodt S.,University of California at Davis | Garnett T.,University of Surrey | And 7 more authors.
Annual Review of Environment and Resources

The relationships between energy use in food systems, food system productivity, and energy resource constraints are complex. Moreover, ongoing changes in food production and consumption norms concurrent with urbanization, globalization, and demographic changes underscore the importance of energy use in food systems as a food security concern. Here, we review the current state of knowledge with respect to the energy intensity of agriculture and food systems. We highlight key drivers and trends in food system energy use along with opportunities for and constraints on improved efficiencies. In particular, we point toward a current dearth of research with respect to the energy performance of food systems in developing countries and provide a cautionary note vis - vis increasing food system energy dependencies in the light of energy price volatility and concerns as to long-term fossil energy availabilities. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Source

Pelletier N.,Global Ecologic Environmental Consulting and Management Services | Ibarburu M.,Iowa State University | Xin H.,Iowa State University
Journal of Cleaner Production

We conducted a carbon footprint analysis to quantify the scale and distribution of life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in contemporary intensive egg production and processing supply chains (up to the breaker facility gate) in the Midwestern United States. Feed production and use in pullet and layer facilities was found to contribute the largest share of supply chain emissions. Further optimization of feed use efficiencies and sourcing least-environmental cost feed inputs are therefore key leverage points for reducing the GHG intensity of regional egg products. Of particular efficacy will be reducing the fraction of animal-derived materials used as inputs to poultry feeds and/or sourcing least-GHG intensive (i.e. poultry rather than ruminant) animal-derived feed inputs. Managing supply chains for nitrogen (N) use efficiency is also a key consideration - both in terms of sourcing N-efficient crop inputs, and selection of manure management strategies to minimize N losses. Breeding for N use efficiency may also be efficacious in this respect. In contrast, contributions from egg processing and breaking stages to overall emissions were small (1% and 2% of supply chain emissions, respectively). Although making relatively minor contributions to supply chain emissions, the high degree of variability in reported energy and other (non-feed) resources used between facilities for pullet and layer production along with egg processing and breaking stages also indicates opportunities for streamlining towards more efficient industry norms. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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