Evaluation of calculation tools for climate impact from milk- and beef production

The agricultural sector stands for a large part of our contribution to climate change where the livestock stands for about 15 %, mostly from ruminants. To reduce the climate impact climate calculations can be executed to find possibilities for improvements. These calculations are complex with great uncertainties. A master thesis was performed with purpose to evaluate two tools, Cool Farm Tool (CFT) and Vera, for climate calculations from farms with ruminants. The precision and how well the results are presented to identify improvement opportunities were evaluated. The tools ease of use where also discussed. The evaluation was made with calculations for one milk system and two beef systems. For comparison, calculations were also performed with a life cycle perspective, which mostly followed the tier 2 approach from 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories”. The presentations of the results were analyzed from own and advisor experiences. A suggestion for presentation of the results is also presented in the thesis.

Differences between the tools calculations where found which mostly are depending on different global warming potentials, calculations of emissions from enteric fermentation, manure management and feed production. Vera has a great advantage in using Swedish calculation methods and therefore more suitable for Swedish farms. It is also flexible since there are standard values that mostly can be changed. CFT is faster to use and it can manage limitations in data at some level. Vera presents the results in several ways with the possibility to discover areas for improvement. CFT does not present the results in the same detail. Vera needs to limit the time needed to look for and ad products while CFT needs to improve the flexibility and presentation of results.

Read the master thesis here (in Swedish): https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1519284/FULLTEXT01.pdf

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