Environmental and economic impacts of using co-products in the diets of finishing pigs in Brazil

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12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Alternative feed sources are required to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of current pig production systems and to reduce the competition for cropland between the feed and food sectors. The objective of this study was to assess the environmental and economic impacts of utilizing existing and new co-products in the diets of pigs in Brazil. Three diet scenarios were designed: a reference scenario with a standard corn-soybean meal based finishing diet, a macaúba kernel cake based scenario and a co-product based scenario. The diets were equal in nutritional density. Inclusion of co-products in the diet of pigs has the potential to reduce the environmental impacts of pork production, particularly land use and the global warming potential when land use change is included. Compared with the reference scenario, land use per finished pig is 10% lower for the alternative scenarios. Global warming potential per kg live weight is 3.4–7% lower for the alternative scenarios when direct land use change is included whereas it is about 6–7% lower when indirect land use change is included. The land use ratio results (4.84 for the reference scenario and 4.35 for the alternative scenarios) imply that the production of pork using co-products can make available cropland for food crops production for direct human consumption. Compared with the reference finishing diet, the cost prices are 14% lower for the macaúba kernel cake and 5% lower for the co-product based finishing diets. The inclusion of co-products in the diets of pigs is, therefore, an important strategy to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of pig production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-259
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume162
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Co-products
  • Economic impact
  • Environmental impact
  • Macaúba kernel cake
  • Pig diets

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