Environmental Impacts on Concentrate Feed Supply Systems for Japanese Domestic Livestock Industry as Evaluated by a Life-cycle Assessment Method

  • Kaku, K. (National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science) ;
  • Ogino, A. (National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science) ;
  • Ikeguchi, A. (National Institute for Rural Engineering) ;
  • Osada, T. (National Agricultural Research Center for Hokkaido Region) ;
  • Shimada, K. (National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science)
  • Received : 2004.09.22
  • Accepted : 2005.02.03
  • Published : 2005.07.01


The objectives of this study were to evaluate and compare the environmental load of two different concentrate feed supply systems to the Japanese domestic livestock industry using the Life-cycle Assessment (LCA) method. The current system was defined as that requiring 11.469 million tons of corn imported from the US by sea transport and supplied as concentrate feed to the Japanese domestic livestock industry. The new system proposed by Kaku et al. in 2004 was defined as where 802,830 tons of US imported corn would not be planted in US and would be replaced by barley planted in 278 thousand ha of Japanese domestic land left fallow for the past year. In this case, 909,000 tons of domestic harvest barley would have been supplied as concentrate feed to the Japanese domestic livestock industry in 2000. The activities taken into account within the two system boundaries were three stages: concentrate feed production, feed transportation and gas emission from the soil by chemical fertilizer. Finished compost was regarded as organic fertilizer and was put instead of chemical fertilizers within the system boundary. Adoption of this new concentrate feed supply system by the Japanese domestic livestock industry could reduce 78,462 tons $CO_2$-equivalents of global warming potential, 347 tons $SO_2$-equivalents of acidification potential, 54 tons $PO_4$-equivalents of eutrophication potential and 0.842 million GJ as energy consumption below 2,000 levels. This LCA study comparing two Japanese domestic livestock concentrate feed supply systems showed that the stage of feed transport contributed most to global warming and the stage of emission from the soil contributed most to acidification and eutrophication. The Japanese domestic livestock industry could participate in emissions trading with $CO_2$-equivalents reduced by shifting from some imported US corn as a concentrate feed to domestic barley planted in land left fallow. In that case the Japanese government could launch emissions trading in accordance with Kyoto Protocol in the future.


Livestock;Barley;Concentrate Feed;Life-cycle Assessment;Greenhouse Gases;Emissions Trading


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