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LCA results of French cereal and oilseed feedstuffs with effect of different agricultural practices

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Sylvie Dauguet et al., 10es International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food 2016, Dublin, Irlande du Nord, Royaume-Uni, 19-21 octobre 2016, 7 pages

The French project ECOALIM aims to improve the environmental impacts of husbandries by optimizing their feed. This project defines the environmental impacts of the production of raw materials for animal feeding and optimizes the formulation of feed compounds with environmental constraints in order to improve environmental footprint of animal products. The project covers different farming systems and production areas in France and is based on life cycle assessment (LCA). The objective of this study was to develop a dataset of environmental impacts of feed ingredients, while taking into account agricultural practices and processing.

The LCA results obtained for rapeseed grown in France, with different agricultural practices, at the field gate, are discussed here, while similar results are also available for other crops (wheat, barley, maize, sunflower, pea…). Several life cycle inventories (LCI) were carried out: national average data representative of France (average French rapeseed) and LCIs with different crop managements based on case studies, in different regions of France, with different crop rotations (rapeseed in crop rotation with introduction of intermediate crops, or with introduction of legumes, or with organic fertilization, or rapeseed cultivated with an associated crop). The LCA methodology was applied, considering environmental burdens at the rotation system scale. Focus is made this paper on five impact indicators (Climate Change ILCD, Cumulative Energy Demand non renewable fossil+nuclear, ACidification ILCD, EUtrophication CML, Consumption of Phosphorus).

For the rapeseed LCIs presented, the main contributor to selected environmental impacts was field emissions. The assessment of practices such as organic fertilization, the introduction of intermediate crops, the introduction of legumes in the rotation or an associated crop within rapeseed crop showed some improvements on impacts. But results were very variable between the different case studies.

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