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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Research Project #436841

Research Project: Life Cycle Assessment of U.S. Milk

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Project Number: 8070-66000-001-11-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2020
End Date: Jul 31, 2022

Objective:
Develop a full (cradle-to-grave) life cycle assessment of the production, processing and consumption of milk produced in the United States.

Approach:
Cooperator will use life cycle assessment software to conduct a full life cycle assessment quantifying the environmental sustainability of milk produced in the United States. Sustainability will be assessed using a number of metrics commonly used to evaluate environmental impacts of agricultural systems. Important metrics will include global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, and land use. ARS will use the Integrated Farm System Model to evaluate and quantify performance and environmental impact data for dairy farms throughout six major dairy regions of the U.S. These data will be provided to the collaborator to establish farm gate inventory. Cooperator will use these data along with available data for transport, processing retail and consumer components to complete the full life cycle assessment.