Featured Articles

Interpretive Summary: Environmental impacts of eco-nutrition swine feeding programs in spatially explicit geographic regions of the United States

By: Gerald C Shurson, Rylie E O Pelton, Zhaohui Yang, Pedro E Urriola, Jennifer Schmitt

Very few studies have been conducted to determine the differences in environmental impacts based on the diet composition of growing-finishing swine feeding programs across major pork production regions in the United States. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine and compare greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water consumption, land use, as well as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and carbon (C) balance of five diet formulation strategies and feeding programs for growing-finishing pigs (25–130 kg body weight) in the three spatially explicit U.S. pork production regions. The corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), food waste (FW), and low protein-synthetic amino acid (SAA) diets had less estimated N and P excretion compared with corn-soybean meal (CSBM) diets, and the addition of phytase (PHY) to CSBM diets resulted in the greatest reduction in P excretion among feeding programs. Adding FW to diets resulted in the least overall greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and land use compared with all other feeding programs, and land use was less for the DDGS and SAA feeding programs than CSBM and PHY feeding programs. The Midwest had the least GHG emissions and land use impact compared with other regions, while the Southwest region had the greatest water consumption associated with feeding programs.

Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.