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WPX 2011: Producers Can Track Carbon Footprint

10 June 2011

US - US Pork producers in the US can now calculate their carbon footprint, thanks to a new computer programme launched by the National Pork Products Council at World Pork Expo, writes Carla Wright for ThePigSite.

The Live Swine Carbon Footprint Calculator has been developed for the council by a research team at the University of Arkansas.

The calculator was developed because three years ago, pork producers wanted to know their carbon footprint and what it was costing them, said Randy Spronk, a member of the Board of Directors for the National Pork Producers Council, chair of the National Pork Producers Council Environment Committee and a member of the National Pork Board's Environment Committee and Carbon Footprint Working Group.


Chair of the National Pork Producers Council Environment Committee and a member of the National Pork Board's Environment Committee and Carbon Footprint Working Group, Randy Spronk.

This eventually led Dr Rick Ulrich and Dr Greg Thomas of the University of Arkansas to develop the calculator, which, Mr Spronk said, is very complex, but not difficult for the producer to use.

The Live Swine Carbon Footprint Calculator Version 1.0 is a CD that is usable for sow farms and wean to finish production.

A great amount of energy is used in farm to fork live animal production.

The total carbon footprint includes live animal production 62.1 per cent, processing 5.6 per cent, retail 7.5 per cent, consumption 23.5 per cent and packaging 1.5 per cent.

Within the animal production category, piglets account for 15 per cent of the carbon footprint, feed 42 per cent, manure 40 per cent and fuel/electricity three per cent.

A producer can estimate the carbon footprint per pig, per barn, or an entire operation using this calculator.

The calculator takes into consideration not only the manure system, the heating and cooling systems, the feed, and other energy used (gasoline, water, and diesel) but the climate for each county in the United States, making it a very location specific calculation.

The several summaries of the calculator help the producer understand the energy consumption of their specific operation and their carbon footprint.

The National Pork Producers Council has made the calculator available on the web [click here].

ThePigSite Newsdesk



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