Broiler production from the perspective of emergy analysis - environmental impact scenarios
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Keywords

broiler production
conventional farming
organic farming
emergy analysis
environmental impact

How to Cite

KUCZUK, ANNA, and JANUSZ POSPOLITA. 2024. “Broiler Production from the Perspective of Emergy Analysis - Environmental Impact Scenarios”. Economics and Environment 88 (1): 751. https://doi.org/10.34659/eis.2024.88.1.751.

Abstract

Poultry meat consumption is a significant element in Poland's overall food consumption. Economic considerations mean that both nationally and globally, conventional intensive rearing dominates. Nevertheless, environmental and health aspects or the will to treat animals humanely make pro-environmental rearing systems increasingly common. The purpose of this article is an environmental analysis of an example farm engaged in intensive rearing of slaughtered poultry (so-called baseline production). For the analysed production, the following scenarios of changes were proposed: (a) conventional rearing based on the use of own fodder, and (b) organic rearing using free range and own organic fodder. An emergy approach was applied in this analysis. Comparison of different production systems using emergy analysis made it possible to show the scale of environmental resource commitment for baseline and scenario-based productions, and to determine the amount of renewable and non-renewable emergy consumed per unit of production. Through the use of selected emergy indicators, e.g.: Environmental Loading Ratio (ELR), Emergy Yield Ratio (EYR), the environmental impact for each case was determined. For the ecological system scenario, the need to change production parameters (stocking rate, maximum poultry house area, free range) was taken into account. The results of the emergy-based indicators showed that the baseline production places the greatest burden on the environment and is the least sustainable. The organic system is the opposite; however, due to production limitations and the lower production efficiency achieved, it may not be economically viable to orient a farm exclusively to the organic system. In an environmental assessment, the information obtained can provide valuable guidance to agricultural producers. They can help make informed decisions on natural resource management to achieve environmental security. The results are also important for political decision-makers in creating policies for more sustainable agricultural production. The results obtained are discussed, pointing out the importance of the analysis used mainly from an environmental point of view.

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