Integrated Resource Management Tool to Mitigate the Carbon Footprint of Swine Produced in the United States

Animal Manure Management January 07, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

green stylized pig logoOutputs of This Project: ModelResearch SummariesExtension/Outreach Content | WebcastsProfessional Conference Presentations | Journal Articles | Acknowledgments

What Did We Do?

Modeling: The overall goal of the modeling effort was to enhance the National Pork Board swine carbon footprint calculator by integration of specific modules for: animal growth and feed ingredient impacts on manure characteristics. The process model output is to be used as input to life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate cradle-to-farm-gate environmental impacts of swine production. An economic analysis model incorporated both process based results (live animal weight, feed, fuel, etc.) and LCA results (greenhouse gas, GHG emissions) to model the cost and potential of different options for reducing GHG emissions in swine production. More...

The model development is supported through an experimental research program focused on feed efficiency and manure management. Feed efficiency is affected by the feed composition and animal physiology which is affected by the animal’s health status. Our research addressed both issues with laboratory and full scale feeding trials.

Health Status: In trials, Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) infection caused significant reductions in feed intake which led to reductions in rates of gain and body weight. The infection also caused a reduction in diet digestibility leading to greater manure nutrient output per unit of feed intake and increased greenhouse gas (GHG) production from the stored manure. The impact on GHG production is particularly striking when the data are expressed as litters of gas per kilogram of body weight gain. The increased gas production combined with reduced rates of gain results in more than a tripling of gas production per unit of gain for all of the gases. Vaccination against PRRSV appeared to offer little benefit in terms of animal performance, manure nutrient output, or gas production from manure. More...

NIFA swine carbon footprint project partnersAmino Acid Supplementation: Studies confirmed that crude protein can be replaced with feed grade AA to meet the requirement of the first 5 limiting AA without negatively impacting growth performance or carcass composition when diets are formulated on a NE basis; however, further CP reductions resulted in more variable growth performance.

Manure Management: The gasification system has been successfully operated with an algae feed stock in a series of preliminary, proof-of-concept tests. The algal turf system has been fully constructed and is now operational with samples being taken for nitrogen and bacteria levels. Nutrient retention management technologies for manure will include algal growth for on-farm nitrogen retention using a pilot scale experimental system and thermal conversion to fuel gas and bio-char (a soil amendment).

Extension, Outreach, Undergraduate Research Experiences: A significant component of this project is devoted to non-research activities including developing materials for extension work - disseminating research information to non-technical audiences for integration into existing knowledge and application in farm decision-making. Undergraduate students from several universities were also provided with opportunities to participate in research projects, gaining valuable experience and to train potential future scientists.

Model

The Swine Environmental Footprint Calculator is available from the National Pork Board. It will continue to be updated when applicable research information and data sets are available. Go to the model home page....

Research Summaries

Also visit the conference presentations section to find out more about the research findings.

Extension-Outreach Web Content and Printed Materials

The extension materials (focused on transferring research information to a non-research audience) include:

  • short articles written in an FAQ style
  • case studies (pending) on using data from commercial farms
  • curriculum materials for use in high school classrooms that includes manipulatives and activities as well as printed information
  • fact sheets: What is a water footprint? | What is a land footprint? | What is a carbon footprint?

Several Extension Webcasts Were Produced By This Project

  • Thermal Conversion of Animal Manure to Biofuel - Go to archive... (February, 2014)
  • Life Cycle Assessment Modeling for the Pork Industry - Go to archive.... (July, 2012)
  • Producer Association Efforts to Address Carbon Footprint (Pork and Poultry) - Go to archive... (June, 2012)

Conference Presentations Made By Project PI's

Overall project  - https://scisoc.confex.com/crops/2012am/webprogram/Paper72165.html (from 2012)

Waste to Worth: Advancing Sustainability in Animal Agriculture (March-April, 2015)

  • Environmental Footprint, Cost, and Nutrient Database of of U.S. Animal Feed Ingredients More...
  • Exploring Interactions Between Agricultural Decisions and Greenhouse gas Emissions Using Swine Production More...
  • Feeding Strategies to Mitigate Cost and Environmental Footprint of Pig Production in the US More...
  • Reducing the Costs and Environmental Footprint of Pig Diets with the Experimental Optimum Synthetic Amino Acid Inclusion  More...
  • Adapting Agriculture to Sustainably Feed the World (keynote) More...

Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions (April, 2013)

  • Refining a Pork Production Carbon Footprint Mitigation Tool: A Case Study of an Integrated Research/Extension/Education Project - More...

LCA Food 2014

  • Panel presentation: Burek J, Thoma G, Popp J, et al. Developing Environmental Footprint,Cost, and Nutrient Database of the US Animal Feed Ingredients.
  • Poster presentation: Burek J, Thoma G, Popp J, et al. Formulating low-cost and low-environmental footprint swine diets.

Midwest Section - American Society of Animal Science

  • 2015 - Comparison of the effects of antibiotic-free and conventional management on growth performance in swine. C. E. Vonderohe*, A. M. Jones, B. T. Richert, J. S. Radcliffe, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Abstract 102, page 47.
  • 2014 - Effect of feeding reduced-CP, amino acid supplemented diets on dietary nitrogen and energy utilization and volatile fatty acid excretion in wean-to-finish swine. A. M. Jones1*, D. T. Kelly1, B. T. Richert1, C. V. Maxwell2, J. S. Radcliffe1,1 Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 2 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Abstract 037, page 16.
  • 2013 - Effects of amino acid supplementation of reduced crude protein (RCP) diets on performance and carcass composition of growing-finishing swine. J. K. Apple1*, B. E. Bass1, T. C. Tsai1, C.V. Maxwell1, J. W. S. Yancey1, A. N. Young1, M. D. Hanigan2, R.Ulrich3, J. S. Radcliffe4, B. T. Richert4, G. Thoma3, J. S. Popp5,1 Animal Science, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Fayetteville, 2 Dairy Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, 3 Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 4 Animal Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, 5 Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Fayetteville. Abstract 0224, page 73.
  • 2013 - Effects of amino acid supplementation of reduced crude protein (RCP) diets on LM quality of growing-finishing swine. A.N. Young1,*, J. K. Apple1, J. W. S. Yancey1, J. J. Hollenbeck1, T. M.Johnson1, B. E. Bass1, T. C. Tsai1, C. V. Maxwell1, M. D. Hanigan2,J. S. Radcliffe3, B. T. Richert3, J. S. Popp4, R. Ulrich5, G. Thoma5,1 Animal Science, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Fayetteville, 2 Dairy Science, Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg,3 Animal Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette,4 Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture,5 Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Abstract P027, page 97.
  • 2013 - Maximum replacement of CP with synthetic amino acids in nursery pigs. B. E. Bass1, T. Tsai1*, M. D. Hanigan2, J. K.Apple1, R. Ulrich3, J. S. Radcliffe4, B. T. Richert4, G. Thoma3, J.S. Popp5, C. V. Maxwell1,1 Animal Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 2Dairy Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, 3 Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 4 Animal Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, 5 Agriculture Economics & Agribusiness, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Abstract P042, page 102.

ASA/CSSA/SSSA amino acid work https://scisoc.confex.com/crops/2012am/webprogram/Paper75311.html  overall project (also linked at top of this list) https://scisoc.confex.com/crops/2012am/webprogram/Paper72165.html

Journal Articles

Manure Management & Algae Systems

  • Sadaka, S., M. Sharara and G. Ubhi. 2014.  Performance Assessment of an Allothermal Auger Gasification System for On-Farm Grain Drying. Journal for Sustainable Bioenergy Systems. Vol. 4: 19-32.
  • Sharara M, Holeman N, Sadaka S, Costello T. 2014. Pyrolysis kinetics of algal consortia grown using swine manure wastewater. Bioresource Technology. 169: 658-666.
  • Sharara, M. and S. Sadaka. 2014. Thermogravimetric Analysis of Swine Manure Solids Obtained From Farrowing, and Growing-Finishing Farms. Journal for Sustainable Bioenergy Systems. Vol. 4: 75-86.

Acknowledgements

Project Director: Greg Thoma gthoma@uark.edu, Co-Project Director: Marty Matlock mmatlock@uark.edu
Principle Investigators: Richard Ulrich, Jennie Popp, Charles Maxwell, Thomas Costello, Scott Radcliffe, Mark Hanigan, Brian Richert, Karl VanDevender, Sammy Sadaka, Chengsheng Li, William Salas

This information is part of the program “Integrated Resource Management Tool to Mitigate the Carbon Footprint of Swine Produced In the U.S.,” and is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-68002-30208 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Project website: http://www.extension.org/71201.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.