Special Issue "Assessing Energy Requirements and Related Economic and Environmental Impact in Livestock Farms"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Maria Caria
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Science, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: precision livestock farming; animal welfare; milking management; milking systems; wearable technologies; mechanization of livestock farms; ergonomic and safety issues; energy and environmental sustainability of dairy farms; smart glasses for augmented reality; logistics of milk collection
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Giuseppe Todde
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Science, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: energy and environmental impact of dairy farms; environmental sustainability of agricultural systems: energy and environmental performance of photovoltaic irrigation systems; precision livestock farming; wearable technologies; mechanization of livestock farms; smart glasses for augmented reality; logistics of milk collection; life cycle assessment; direct and indirect energy analysis of livestock farms
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The consumption of fossil fuels has increased since the preindustrial revolution and thus the associated emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) into the environment due to human activities. Similarly, livestock farms are continuously developing more intensive systems of management that require a higher utilization of durable and non-durable inputs, which require the consumption of fossil fuels. These inputs are responsible for significant fossil energy requirements, which are related to the remarkable emission of GHG. Fossil energy consumption in agriculture is usually divided into two types, direct and indirect. The first refers to fuels and electricity that are directly converted into units of energy at the farm level; the second one refers to the cumulative energy embodied in all inputs used in the production process. In the last few decades, alternative approaches developed in data modeling have become significantly important in order to predict and manage livestock energy requirements and related environmental emissions. 

The intensive mechanization level has decreased the incidence of labor requirements for farm activities and increased the usage of tools, which require fossil fuels. A scientific literature and database review of current studies revealed that a large amount of information about livestock farms and GHG emissions have become available in recent years; however, these outcomes are largely fragmented. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector is a critical issue for more sustainable animal production. To achieve this aim, farmers, policy makers, and consumers need clear information about the energy and environmental influence of the livestock product chain.

The aim of this Special Issue of Energies aims to provide innovative experimental research, models and tools focusing on direct and indirect energy requirements in livestock farms, including the related economic and environmental impacts. This Special Issue may include, but is not limited to:

  • On-farm diesel and electricity usage
  • Embodied energy analysis in durable inputs
  • Environmental impact of energy requirements in livestock activities
  • Mathematical modelling of on-farm energy consumption
  • Economic assessments associated to energy demands
  • Renewable energy production in livestock farms

Dr. Maria Caria
Dr. Giuseppe Todde
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Agricultural machinery and mechanization
  • Precision farming
  • Energy requirements in livestock activities
  • Renewable and Sustainable energy management in animal farms
  • Life cycle assessment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Does Mexico Have Enough Land to Fulfill Future Needs for the Consumption of Animal Products?
Agriculture 2019, 9(10), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9100211 - 25 Sep 2019
Abstract
Land demand arising from the consumption of animal products is one of the greatest challenges for future sustainability. Developing countries are changing rapidly in both the consumption of animal products and the livestock production systems. Mexico is used as an example of a [...] Read more.
Land demand arising from the consumption of animal products is one of the greatest challenges for future sustainability. Developing countries are changing rapidly in both the consumption of animal products and the livestock production systems. Mexico is used as an example of a developing country. An approach is developed to identify the production variables that drive the Land Requirement for Animal Products (LRAP) for beef, milk, pork, chicken meat, and eggs. An average medium-scale farm of Mexico is described using farm-scale production data from the National Agricultural Survey of Mexico. The results show that the use of grassland outweighs the use of cropland for feed production, and the use of barn area is least. The production of beef protein requires more land than any other animal product because of its large demand for pasture land. The use of grassland represents 70% of the total demand for land for food by the Mexican population, and this is mainly for beef and milk consumption. Population growth and changes to a more affluent diet will result in a demand for more land for food; however, there will not be enough land if food is produced with present livestock production systems. It is necessary to implement strategies to reduce the use of land for food by focusing on both production and consumption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Impacts of the Beef Production Chain in the Northeast of Portugal Using Life Cycle Assessment
Agriculture 2018, 8(10), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8100165 - 19 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The beef supply chain has multiple negative impacts on the environment. A method widely used to measure impacts from both the use of resources and the emissions generated by this sector is the life cycle assessment (LCA) (ISO 14040). This study aimed to [...] Read more.
The beef supply chain has multiple negative impacts on the environment. A method widely used to measure impacts from both the use of resources and the emissions generated by this sector is the life cycle assessment (LCA) (ISO 14040). This study aimed to evaluate a semi-intensive system (SIS) and an extensive organic system (EOS), combined with two different slaughterhouses located in the northeast of Portugal. The studied slaughterhouses are similar in size but differ in number of slaughters and in sources of thermal energy: natural gas (Mng) vs. biomass pellets (Mp). Four categories of environmental impact were evaluated: global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), and photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP). As expected, higher impacts were found for SIS for all studied impact categories. Slaughterhouse activities, fertilizer production, and solid waste treatment stages showed little contribution when compared to animal production. Concerning the slaughterhouses activities, the main sources of environmental impact were the use of energy (electric and thermal) and by-products transportation. Full article
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