The goal of this study was to analyze land use in the production of US pork using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is a comprehensive methodology for quantitatively analyzing potential environmental impacts associated with complex systems. Identification of processes contributing to high environmental impacts often highlights opportunities for gains in efficiency, which can increase the profitability and sustainability of US pork. The environmental impact category analyzed in this assessment was land use. After reviewing existing information regarding land use in agriculture and livestock production, analysis for US pork production was performed at two scales: cradle-to-grave and cradle-to-farm gate. The cradle-to-grave analysis provided a scan-level overview of land use associated with the production and consumption of lean pork at an aggregated national level. The cradle-to-farm gate analysis provided a more granular assessment of the land use required for live swine production, and evaluated the use of alternate ration formulation as a tool for reducing environmental impacts. [Excerpt from report].
Thoma, G., Matlock, M., Putman, B., & Burek, J. (2015). A Life Cycle Analysis of Land Use in US Pork Production. University of Arkansas Resiliency Center. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/rescentfs/1