Delta LCA of regenerative agriculture in a sheep farming system

Tracey Anne Colley*, Stig Irving Olsen, Morten Birkved, Michael Zwicky Hauschild

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Regenerative agriculture is being used by a small numbers of innovative farmers in Australia and elsewhere, and uses a range of holistic methods that works with the land and climate, such as short duration time controlled grazing with long rest periods for the paddock and higher proportions of above ground biomass, to improve soil health and farm profitability. This paper uses a delta life cycle assessment focusing only on the differences between regenerative and conventional production systems to assess the potential impact of regenerative agriculture on a full range of midpoint impact categories and end point areas of protection for an extensive sheep system in Australia. It assesses the potential improvement to the water, carbon and biodiversity footprints of sheep production, and finds that regenerative agriculture has the potential to improve environmental performance compared to current industrial agricultural practices. In particular, there seems to be considerable potential to offset a significant proportion of the on‐farm climate change impacts through a combination of biosequestration in soils and above ground biomass and using harvested biomass to offset fossil fuel use. The assessment highlights the need for additional data to confirm the findings and the potential contribution that regenerative agriculture can make to sustainability of ruminant livestock production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
ISSN1551-3777
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Cite this

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title = "Delta LCA of regenerative agriculture in a sheep farming system",
abstract = "Regenerative agriculture is being used by a small numbers of innovative farmers in Australia and elsewhere, and uses a range of holistic methods that works with the land and climate, such as short duration time controlled grazing with long rest periods for the paddock and higher proportions of above ground biomass, to improve soil health and farm profitability. This paper uses a delta life cycle assessment focusing only on the differences between regenerative and conventional production systems to assess the potential impact of regenerative agriculture on a full range of midpoint impact categories and end point areas of protection for an extensive sheep system in Australia. It assesses the potential improvement to the water, carbon and biodiversity footprints of sheep production, and finds that regenerative agriculture has the potential to improve environmental performance compared to current industrial agricultural practices. In particular, there seems to be considerable potential to offset a significant proportion of the on‐farm climate change impacts through a combination of biosequestration in soils and above ground biomass and using harvested biomass to offset fossil fuel use. The assessment highlights the need for additional data to confirm the findings and the potential contribution that regenerative agriculture can make to sustainability of ruminant livestock production.",
author = "Colley, {Tracey Anne} and Olsen, {Stig Irving} and Morten Birkved and Hauschild, {Michael Zwicky}",
year = "2020",
doi = "10.1002/ieam.4238",
language = "English",
journal = "Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management",
issn = "1551-3777",
publisher = "JohnWiley & Sons, Inc.",

}

Delta LCA of regenerative agriculture in a sheep farming system. / Colley, Tracey Anne; Olsen, Stig Irving; Birkved, Morten; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky.

In: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Delta LCA of regenerative agriculture in a sheep farming system

AU - Colley, Tracey Anne

AU - Olsen, Stig Irving

AU - Birkved, Morten

AU - Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - Regenerative agriculture is being used by a small numbers of innovative farmers in Australia and elsewhere, and uses a range of holistic methods that works with the land and climate, such as short duration time controlled grazing with long rest periods for the paddock and higher proportions of above ground biomass, to improve soil health and farm profitability. This paper uses a delta life cycle assessment focusing only on the differences between regenerative and conventional production systems to assess the potential impact of regenerative agriculture on a full range of midpoint impact categories and end point areas of protection for an extensive sheep system in Australia. It assesses the potential improvement to the water, carbon and biodiversity footprints of sheep production, and finds that regenerative agriculture has the potential to improve environmental performance compared to current industrial agricultural practices. In particular, there seems to be considerable potential to offset a significant proportion of the on‐farm climate change impacts through a combination of biosequestration in soils and above ground biomass and using harvested biomass to offset fossil fuel use. The assessment highlights the need for additional data to confirm the findings and the potential contribution that regenerative agriculture can make to sustainability of ruminant livestock production.

AB - Regenerative agriculture is being used by a small numbers of innovative farmers in Australia and elsewhere, and uses a range of holistic methods that works with the land and climate, such as short duration time controlled grazing with long rest periods for the paddock and higher proportions of above ground biomass, to improve soil health and farm profitability. This paper uses a delta life cycle assessment focusing only on the differences between regenerative and conventional production systems to assess the potential impact of regenerative agriculture on a full range of midpoint impact categories and end point areas of protection for an extensive sheep system in Australia. It assesses the potential improvement to the water, carbon and biodiversity footprints of sheep production, and finds that regenerative agriculture has the potential to improve environmental performance compared to current industrial agricultural practices. In particular, there seems to be considerable potential to offset a significant proportion of the on‐farm climate change impacts through a combination of biosequestration in soils and above ground biomass and using harvested biomass to offset fossil fuel use. The assessment highlights the need for additional data to confirm the findings and the potential contribution that regenerative agriculture can make to sustainability of ruminant livestock production.

U2 - 10.1002/ieam.4238

DO - 10.1002/ieam.4238

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 31850670

JO - Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management

JF - Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management

SN - 1551-3777

ER -