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Title: Spatially explicit modeling of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from cattle production

item WANGJIAN, ZHANG - New York State University
item Rotz, Clarence - Al
item XUESONG, ZHANG,DOE - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
item SHAO, LIN - New York State University
item XIAOBO, XUE - New York State University

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2018
Publication Date: 6/25/2018
Citation: Wangjian, Z., Rotz, C.A., Xuesong, Z., Shao, L., Xiaobo, X. 2018. Spatially explicit modeling of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from cattle production. Symposium Proceedings. P. 1.

Interpretive Summary: No interpretive summary is required for this Abstract. JLB.

Technical Abstract: Background and objective: Assessing the spatially explicit life cycle environmental releases of cattle production systems is critical for devising long-term environmental sustainability strategies. Existing assessments have quantified life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of cattle production at coarse spatial scales such as regional, national and global. However, spatially explicit environmental information at a more granular scale is essential for describing the inherent spatial heterogeneity feature of environmental releases and assisting in designing location-specific sustainable strategies. This study is the first assessment to quantify the life cycle GHG releases of cattle production at the county scale. Method: A process-based life cycle model in conjunction with state-of-the-art agricultural process models was created to compute the life cycle GHG releases of confined cattle production systems at the county scale in New York State for year 2012. Life cycle GHG emissions were assessed for four major stages of confined production systems including 1) feed production, 2) feed transportation, 3) animal respiration and 4) manure management. The Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was used to estimate the GHG emissions for cattle feed production (stage 1), and the Integrated Farm System Model (IFSM) was used to evaluate GHG emissions from cattle respiration (stage 3) and manure management (stage 4). In addition, the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model and Commodity Flow Survey were utilized to assess CO2, CH4, and N2O from feed transportation (stage 2), based on the feed amounts, transportation distances, and truck transport mode. The global warming characterization factors were obtained from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to compute CO2 equivalents. Preliminary Results: The total life cycle GHG emission from confined cattle production in NY for 2012 was 4,198,734 ton CO2 equivalent. Life cycle GHG emissions of cattle production vary substantially across counties, with Wyoming County (421,351 ton CO2 equivalent) as the top emitter followed by other counties in the north or west of the state such as Cayuga, Genesee and St Lawrence. Most downstate counties do not have any emission due to no presentence of confined cattle production. Among the four stages, animal respiration and manure management were the major contributors to life cycle GHGs from confined production systems. The respiration stage generated 18,417 ton of CO2/county, 45,615ton CO2 equivalent/county from CH4, and 2 ton CO2 equivalent/county from N2O. The manure management stage emitted 1 ton of CO2, 20,357 ton CO2 equivalent from CH4, and 6,291 ton CO2 equivalent from N2O. Feed production presented negative GHGs due to carbon uptake from the atmosphere, with -19,172 ton CO2 equivalent/county as the median value. In addition, GHGs from the feed transportation stage were minimal. Future Work: We will continue improving the GHG estimates from manure management practices in confined production systems, and incorporate GHG estimates from grazing cattle.