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Title: Projecting carbon footprint of Canadian dairy farms under future climate conditions with the integrated farm system model

item JEGO, GUILLAUME - Agri Food - Canada
item THIVIERGE, MARIE-NOELLE - Agri Food - Canada
item BELANGER, GILLES - Agri Food - Canada
item CHANTIGNY, MARTIN - Agri Food - Canada
item Rotz, Clarence - Al
item CHARBONNEAU, ELECTRIQUE - University Of Laval
item BARON, VERN - Agri Food - Canada
item QIAN, BUDONG - Agri Food - Canada

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/9/2016
Publication Date: 8/29/2016
Citation: Jego, G., Thivierge, M., Belanger, G., Chantigny, M., Rotz, C.A., Charbonneau, E., Baron, V., Qian, B. 2016. Projecting carbon footprint of Canadian dairy farms under future climate conditions with the integrated farm system model . Integrated Farm System Model Proceedings Ecosummit 2016, Montpellier, France. P. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Dairy farms are an important sector of Canadian agriculture, and there is an on-going effort to assess their environmental impact. In Canada, like many northern areas of the world, climate change is expected to increase agricultural productivity. This will likely come along with changes in environmental performance. The objective of this study was to project trends of carbon (C) footprint of virtual dairy farms from three ecozones in Canada through near (2020-2049) and distant (2050-2079) future periods, using the Integrated Farm System Model (IFSM) with climate scenarios generated by three climate models (CanESM2, CanRCM4, and HadGEM2). The three virtual dairy farms were located in Eastern Quebec (QE; Atlantic Maritime ecozone), South-Western Quebec (QSW; Mixedwood Plains ecozone) and Central Alberta (CAB; Boreal Plains ecozone). Under the reference period (1971-2000), C footprints of the virtual dairy farms were 1.20 kg CO2 kg-1 FPCM (fat and protein corrected milk) in QE, 1.12 kg CO2 kg-1 FPCM in QSW and 0.98 kg CO2 kg-1 FPCM in CAB. In QSW, the C footprint under future climate conditions was generally stable in the near future and tended to increase above the value of the reference period in the distant future. In QE and CAB, predicted C footprint tended to decrease in near future and then increase in the distant future, to remain close or slightly below the value of the reference period. As the milk production was kept constant in future scenarios, changes in GHG emissions in the future were solely responsible for these C footprint changes. The accumulation of changes from many contributing sources influenced changes in GHG emissions and the future C footprint. Trade-offs were also observed where manure emissions increased for all farms while emissions (per unit of milk produced?) from animal, anthropogenic CO2, and feed production mostly decreased.