Newcastle upon Tyne – UK

 

Environmental impacts of the future pig breed fed novel feed ingredients 

 

Pig production has a number of impacts on the environment and with increasing global demand for pork, the need to find more sustainable production systems is urgent. To asses which system is more environmentally sustainable, we apply Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to pig production systems, and evaluate the effects pig performance and management have on a variety of environmental impact metrics. LCA is a well-established methodology to compare full production systems in different countries or management systems such as organic or outdoor systems compared to conventional production systems.

 

Our research focuses on the environmental effect of each single choice the farmer makes, and which choices would be best from an environmental perspective. By extensive animal modelling, we are able to predict the effect of each pig genetic trait, such as growth rate, residual feed intake, sow prolificacy etc, and evaluate which traits would be most beneficial from an environmental perspective. Further, we look into the effects of each interaction between traits, and how correlations among traits affect the environment and the possibility to reduce these effects in the future. At later stages we will address how modern or future pig genotypes fed on novel or alternative protein sources may affect the environmental impact of pig systems. Our models can further be used to estimate environmental impacts from past, present and predicted systems, and how individual management strategies each contribute to the effect of the systems on the surrounding environment.

 

 

 

 

– Ilias Kyriazakis

 

– Mathias Ottosen

Related projects

Feed-a-Gene – Link

PigSys – Improving pig System performance through a whole system approach – Link

Further Reading

Towards a methodology to formulate sustainable diets for livestock: accounting for environmental impact in diet formulation – Link