Submitted to: Joint Meeting of the ADSA, AMSA, ASAS and PSA
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2016
Publication Date: 7/19/2016
Citation: Asem-Hiablie, S., Rotz, C.A., Stout, R.C. 2016. Farm gate environmental impacts of beef production in the Northern Plains and Midwest regions of the U.S.[abstract]. Joint Meeting of the ADSA, AMSA, ASAS and PSA. P. 1.
Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Summary not required.
Technical Abstract: Cradle-to-farm gate environmental impacts of beef production in two cattle producing regions were assessed as part of an on-going national sustainability study of the U.S. beef value chain launched by the Beef Checkoff. Region-specific data on common ranch and feedlot management practices were characterized from producer surveys and site visits in each of the 10 states within the Midwest and Northern Plains regions. This management information was used along with appropriate climate and soil data to simulate representative operations and predict environmental impacts with the Integrated Farm System Model (IFSM). The representative ranch and feedlot operations were then linked to form full production systems in each region. Weighted averages of the environmental footprints for the regions were determined using animal distribution data from both the producer survey and the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Preliminary results gave footprints of total carbon emission, reactive nitrogen loss, and energy and non-precipitation water use for the two regions of 19.7 ± 1.5 kg CO2e, 158 ± 12.9 g N, 48 ± 4.3 MJ, and 1,106 ± 154 liters per kilogram of carcass weight produced, respectively. The carbon and reactive nitrogen footprints were greater in the Midwest than the Northern Plains, but water use was greater in the Northern Plains. These farm-gate results will be linked with post-farm gate impacts for each of seven study regions to provide the basis for a full national life cycle assessment of beef production and consumption.