Life cycle assessment of a representative dairy farm with limited irrigation pastures

Chen, Guangnan and Orphant, Simon and Kenman, Sarah J. and Chataway, Robert G. (2005) Life cycle assessment of a representative dairy farm with limited irrigation pastures. In: 4th Australian Conference on Life Cycle Assessment, 23-25 Feb 2005, Sydney, Australia.

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Abstract

The environmental impacts and the sustainable development of agricultural activities have been identified as a significant national issue. This paper presents an initial assessment of the life cycle impacts of a representative dairy farm with limited irrigation pastures using SimaPro. The functional unit is defined as the production of one litre of raw milk leaving at the farm gate. The input data is described and the limitation of current investigation is identified. It is shown that for this type of farm, most of the environmental impacts (based on the combined single-score method) are due to the energy use by irrigation pump (33%), the use of the urea fertilizer (27%), and the cow methane emissions (21%). Therefore, future improvements should focus on these three factors. It is also found that the contribution to environmental impact from phosphorous fertilizer, potassium fertilizer, truck and tractor are all relatively small, being 1.22%, 0.11%, 3.47% and 2.24% respectively. In terms of the single-issue indicator of climate change, the contribution from the cow methane emissions is very significant at 76.2%.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:18
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: LCA; milk; pasture; dairy farm; SimaPro; Australia; methane; emissions; fertilisers
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): B Economic Development > 83 Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830302 Dairy Cattle
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/285

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