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Open AccessArticle

The Role of Canadian Agriculture in Meeting Increased Global Protein Demand with Low Carbon Emitting Production

by James A. Dyer 1,*,† and Xavier P.C. Vergé 2,†
1
Contract Researcher, 122 Hexam Street, Cambridge, Ontario, N3H 3Z9, Canada
2
Contract Researcher; 2055, Carling avenue, #1016, Ottawa, Ontario, K2A 1G6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Paul C. Struik and Yantai Gan
Agronomy 2015, 5(4), 569-586; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy5040569
Received: 20 September 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 2 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Agronomy with Impact for Food Security)
Although the demand on agriculture to produce food could double by 2050, changing diets will expand the global demand for protein even faster. Canadian livestock producers will likely expand in response to this market opportunity. Because of the high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from animal protein production, the portion of this protein demand that can be met by pulse crops must be considered. The protein basis for GHG emission intensity was assessed for 2006 using a multi-commodity GHG emissions inventory model. Because arable land is required for other agricultural products, protein production and GHG emissions were also assessed on the basis of the land use. GHG emissions per unit of protein are one or two orders of magnitude higher for protein from livestock, particularly ruminants, than for protein from pulses. The protein production from pulses was moderately higher per unit of land than the protein from livestock. This difference was greater when soybeans were the only pulse in the comparison. Protein from livestock, especially ruminants, resulted in much higher GHG emissions per unit of land than the protein from pulses. A shift towards more protein from pulses could assure a better global protein supply and reduce GHG emissions associated with that supply. View Full-Text
Keywords: livestock and pulse protein; greenhouse gas emissions; daily protein intake; performance indicators livestock and pulse protein; greenhouse gas emissions; daily protein intake; performance indicators
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Dyer, J.A.; Vergé, X.P. The Role of Canadian Agriculture in Meeting Increased Global Protein Demand with Low Carbon Emitting Production. Agronomy 2015, 5, 569-586.

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