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Comparative environmental life cycle assessment of cattle production systems

Cranfield University
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The overall aim is to compare the environmental performance of a wide range of cattle production systems using environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Limits on the outputs of such systems will be calculated and compared with current (and expected future) production levels. Specific objectives follow. 1. Agree the core analyses that will be undertaken, the impact categories and the functional units to be applied 2. Upgrade the current Cranfield systems LCA model to be closely compatible with the revised methods for calculating GHG and ammonia emissions in the UK inventories. 3. Upgrade the grass models that support the LCA model to allow for seasonal variations in forage supplies and limits to access by grazing cattle to protect soils. 4. Obtain activity data from farmers using forage only based production to support model validation. 5. Characterise the impacts of overseas animal feed production, including soya, required for UK production 6. Undertake the comparative LCAs of forage-only based production with conventional and organic production, including sensitivity analyses. 7. Estimate the limits to production using a range of forage-only production systems compared with current production. 8. Estimate the potential for and limits to replacing soya in livestock diets.
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