Models and tools are used to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in agriculture from management processes when measurements are not available. The Cool Farm Tool is widely used by farmers for this purpose. Previously, methods to calculate emissions from crop production have been presented; this paper focuses on the livestock part of the tool. GHG emissions from livestock include enteric methane emissions from ruminants, nitrous oxide and methane emissions from manure management, land use and land-use change, feed production, processing and transport. A case study is presented of 10 large-scale egg producers, who used the Cool Farm Tool over three years to calculate their emissions. The highest GHG emissions were produced through feed, followed by transport and manure management. Through using the tool, the farmers became aware of the sources of emissions in egg production and without targets, took action to reduce emissions. The results show that the averaged GHG emissions decreased over the three years of the study by nearly 25%.
Bibliographical noteThe case study in this paper includes 10 large-scale organic egg suppliers of Costco, who engaged its entire supply base to measure the GHG emissions associated with the production of organic eggs. Working in collaboration with the Sustainable Food Lab and using the CFT, the project seeks to spur reductions in emissions and introduce more sustainable production practices – from farm to shelf. We thank Costco and the 10 farmers for participating and for providing the data used in this study.
- cool farm tool
- greenhouse gases
- egg production