Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Carbon and blue water footprints of California sheep production
Contributor(s): Dougherty, Holland C  (author)orcid ; Oltjen, James W (author); Mitloehner, Frank M (author); DePeters, Edward J (author); Pettey, Lee Allen (author); Macon, Dan (author); Finzel, Julie (author); Rodrigues, Kimberly (author); Kebreab, Ermias (author)
Publication Date: 2019-02
Early Online Version: 2018-11-19
DOI: 10.1093/jas/sky442
Handle Link:
Abstract: While the environmental impacts of livestock production, such as greenhouse gas emissions and water usage, have been studied for a variety of US livestock production systems, the environmental impact of US sheep production is still unknown. A cradle-to-farm gate life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted according to international standards (ISO 14040/44), analyzing the impacts of CS representing five different meat sheep production systems in California, and focusing on carbon footprint (carbon dioxide equivalents, CO2e) and irrigated water usage (metric ton, MT). This study is the first to look specifically at the carbon footprint of the California sheep industry and consider both wool and meat production across the diverse sheep production systems within California. This study also explicitly examined the carbon footprint of hair sheep as compared with wooled sheep production. Data were derived from producer interviews and literature values, and California-specific emission factors were used wherever possible. Flock outputs studied included market lamb meat, breeding stock, 2-d-old lambs, cull adult meat, and wool. Four different methane prediction models were examined, including the current IPCC tier 1 and 2 equations, and an additional sensitivity analysis was conducted to examine the effect of a fixed vs. flexible coefficient of gain (kg) in mature ewes on carbon footprint per ewe. Mass, economic, and protein mass allocation were used to examine the impact of allocation method on carbon footprint and water usage, while sensitivity analyses were used to examine the impact of ewe replacement rate (% of ewe flock per year) and lamb crop (lambs born per ewe bred) on carbon footprint per kilogram market lamb. The carbon footprint of market lamb production ranged from 13.9 to 30.6 kg CO2e/kg market lamb production on a mass basis, 10.4 to 18.1 kg CO2e/kg market lamb on an economic basis, and 6.6 to 10.1 kg CO2e/kg market lamb on a protein mass basis. Enteric methane (CH4) production was the largest single source of emissions for all CS, averaging 72% of total emissions. Emissions from feed production averaged 22% in total, primarily from manure emissions credited to feed. Whole-ranch water usage ranged from 2.1 to 44.8 MT/kg market lamb, almost entirely from feed production. Overall results were in agreement with those from meat-focused sheep systems in the United Kingdom as well as beef raised under similar conditions in California.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Animal Science, 97(2), p. 945-961
Publisher: American Society of Animal Science
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1525-3163
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation
050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
070203 Animal Management
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300205 Agricultural production systems simulation
410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring
300302 Animal management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830310 Sheep - Meat
839899 Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production not elsewhere classified
960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100412 Sheep for meat
190102 Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

Files in This Item:
1 files
File SizeFormat 
Show full item record


checked on Mar 5, 2023

Page view(s)

checked on Mar 19, 2023


checked on Mar 19, 2023
Google Media

Google ScholarTM



Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.