Title: Improving feed efficiency as a strategy to reduce beef carbon footprint in the Brazilian Midwest region

Authors: Thiago José Florindo; Giovanna Isabelle Bom De Medeiros Florindo; Edson Talamini; Clandio Favarini Ruviaro

Addresses: Faculty of Management – CPAR, Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Av. Pedro Pedrossian, 725, 79950-000 Paranaíba, MS, Brazil; Center for Studies and Research in Agribusiness, CEPAN, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 7712, Faculty of Agronomy, 1st Floor, 91, 540-000 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil ' Center for Studies and Research in Agribusiness, CEPAN, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 7712, Faculty of Agronomy, 1st Floor, 91, 540-000 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil ' Department of Economics and International Relations e DERI, Faculty of Economics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. João Pessoa, 52, Porto Alegre, Brazil ' Agribusiness Postgraduate Program, FACE, Federal University of Grande Dourados, Rodovia Dourados-Itahum KM 12, Caixa Postal 533, CEP 79825-070 Dourados, MS, Brazil

Abstract: Livestock is considered as one of the sectors with the most potential for global warming due to the volume of greenhouse gas emission, mainly coming from animal enteric fermentation. Brazil is one of the main producers and exporters of beef in the world, with the main area of animal production in the Midwest region. Thus, the goal of this study is to identify GHG emissions from different beef production systems in the Midwest region. The methodology used was the environmental life-cycle assessment. Production system IV, with animal slaughter at 20 months old and 510 kg live weight, obtained the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per live weight kilogram, 15.5 kg CO2 eq. This procedure allows for reducing emissions per kg of live weight by 45% in relation to the base production system; the highest daily live weight gain reflected in greenhouse gas emissions reductions per kilogram of body weight. Production intensification strategies allow for higher daily live weight gain and increased yield per hectare, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, it reduces the need for new beef production areas.

Keywords: life-cycle assessment; production intensification; beef sustainability; enteric fermentation; beef production; feed efficiency; greenhouse gas emission.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2017.087260

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2017 Vol.16 No.4, pp.379 - 396

Available online: 06 Sep 2017 *

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