Location: Range Management ResearchTitle: Distribution of livestock sectors in Canada: Implications for manureshed management
|BITTMAN, S. - Agri Food - Canada|
|WORTH, DEVON - Agri Food - Canada|
|HUNT, D - Agri Food - Canada|
|VENDRAMINI, JOAO - University Of Florida|
|SILVEIRA, MARIA - University Of Florida|
|REID, KEITH - Agri Food - Canada|
|MARTIN, TIM - Agri Food - Canada|
|VANDERZAAG, ANDREW - Agri Food - Canada|
|JAVOREK, STEVEN - Agri Food - Canada|
|NANAYAKKARA, SAMA - Agriculture And Agri-Food Canada|
Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/12/2023
Publication Date: 2/6/2023
Citation: Bittman, S., Worth, D., Hunt, D.E., Spiegal, S.A., Kleinman, P.J., Vendramini, J., Silveira, M., Flynn, K.C., Reid, K., Martin, T., Vanderzaag, A., Javorek, S., Nanayakkara, S. 2023. Distribution of livestock sectors in Canada: Implications for manureshed management. Journal of Environmental Quality. 52(3):596-609. https://doi.org/10.1002/jeq2.20457.
Interpretive Summary: There is growing concern about the impact of livestock on the health of environment and humans in Canada. The distribution of animals is important to understand the concentration of nutrients and their possible impacts on health. The study quantifies the changes in animal populations in agricultural Soil Land Classification (SLC) units across Canada, from 1981 to 2018, using Census Statistics. Each sector has developed uniquely; dairy production has increased but improved efficiencies have limited expansion of herds. Both dairy and poultry are located relatively close to population centres. Beef production has somewhat declined especially after the occurrence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) but has been steady in recent years. The beef industry has moved westward with cow-calves produced mainly on prairies and finishing steers and fed heifer to market weight mainly in feedlots of southern and central AB, close to feed grain sources in Canada and USA. Pig production which responds to market prices is historically mainly in QC and ON with increasing production on the prairies, especially southern MB. Total manure nutrient concentrations per land area are generally low as most SLCs have less than 1 animal unit per agricultural hectare. The greatest concentrations of nutrients due to both animal feed and human food occurs around the three largest metropolitan areas: Toronto, Montreal-Quebec City, and Vancouver. As cities in Canada continue to grow in size and density, so will the food and food security needs. These trends will need to be pursued and resolved to ensure that that health of citizens and environment is protected. Waste recycling in Canada currently focuses on carbon for energy and soil amendment, but there is limited return of nutrients from peri-urban regions to crop farms to effectively reduce consumption of de novo nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer.
Technical Abstract: Canada's livestock sectors are important economically and for food security. Understanding the spatial and temporal distribution of animals and excreted nutrients is the foundation of manureshed management and key to the sustainable use of manure resources. National statistics and farm surveys allocated to homogeneous soil polygons (SLCs) are used to quantify long term change in animal and nutrient distribution across Canada's four key animal sectors and human settlements; we thus identify manureshed concerns and priorities by sectors and regions. The sectors most tied to national markets, dairy and poultry, have been stable over time and relatively well dispersed across provinces. The export driven beef and pig sectors are more volatile. Beef production has moved west since 1981, dairy and chickens have remained more prominent near major markets in the east, while pigs are important in Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario. Manure nutrient concentrations by land area across livestock sectors are generally low as most SLCs have less than 1 animal unit per agricultural hectare. The greatest concentrations of nutrients from both animal feed and human sources occurs around the three largest metropolitan areas: Toronto, Montreal-Quebec City, and Vancouver. As cities in Canada continue to grow in size and density, so will the food, human health and manure-shed challenge, and this will need to be examined and resolved. Waste recycling in Canada currently focuses on carbon for energy and soil amendment, but there is limited return of nutrients to crop farms to effectively reduce consumption of de novo nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer.