Mistra Food Futures report #11 “Reduced climate impact with forage for pigs – calculation of the climate footprint from a life cycle perspective” is about how pig forage can contribute to a production system that reduces the climate impact of agriculture, one of the central issues within Mistra Food Futures. In addition to a reduced climate footprint for pork, the researchers see several advantages in bringing grassland cultivation into pig production but conclude that a shift requires new machines and new knowledge.
– The purpose of this study was to estimate the climate effect from a life cycle perspective of introducing grass-clover grass as an ingredient in feed for pigs in conventional Swedish pig production. The results show that the climate footprint of one kg of conventional pork can be reduced by about 13 percent by replacing some of the pigs’ traditional feed with forage, says Stanley Zira, researcher at Mistra Food Futures.
If the expected storage of carbon is added to soil when grassland is introduced into a grain-dominated crop rotation, emissions are reduced by another 18 percent. However, this reduction potential should be considered with some caution, according to the researchers, as the storage of carbon from the atmosphere in soil is uncertain and the process is also reversible. In addition to reduced climate footprint, the researchers also see improved welfare for the pigs, increased soil fertility and increased diversity of cultivated crops on agricultural land that can benefit biodiversity, as well as reduced use of inputs.
The report is part of Mistra Food Futures’ work to describe production systems that reduce the climate impact of agriculture. This is one of the central issues within Mistra Food Futures.
Elin Röös, Stanley Zira, Eva Salomon, Magdalena Åkerfeldt (2022).
Download the report
Mistra Food Futures Report #11
About Mistra Food Futures
The overarching vision of the programme Mistra Food Futures is to create a science-based platform to enable transformation of the Swedish food system into one that is sustainable (in all three dimensions: environmental, economic, and social), resilient and delivers healthy diets. By taking a holistic perspective and addressing issues related to agriculture and food production, as well as processing, consumption and retail, Mistra Food Futures aims to play a key role in initiating an evidence-based sustainability (including environmental, economic, and social dimensions) and resilience transformation of the Swedish food system.