Carbon footprint analysis of dairy feed from a mill in Michigan, USA

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A carbon footprint analysis was conducted for a single dairy feed mill located in Michigan, USA with the aim of developing a preliminary assessment of dairy feed mill operations. The goal was to determine the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 1 kg of milled dairy feed. Inputs and activities identified in this analysis included production of feed ingredients, onsite energy, and transportation of feed inputs to the milling site and mill output to dairy farms. Feed mill GHG emissions were calculated to be 0.62 and 0.93 kg CO2-eq (equivalent) kg-1 of milled dairy feed for economic and mass allocation, respectively. The highest emissions were due to the feed ingredient inputs that contributed 73-82% toward the carbon footprint, depending on the allocation method. Energy and transportation impacts together contributed between 8 and 12%. Scenarios investigated feed ingredient inputs likely to represent different USA mill locations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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International Dairy Journal