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LIFE Farm4More - Future Agricultural Management for multiple outputs on climate and rural development.

Reference: LIFE18 CCM/IE/001195 | Acronym: LIFE Farm4More

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

Whilst representing 65% of agricultural land within the EU, animal protein production contributes 81% of total agricultural greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and 73% of water pollution caused by excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Ruminants, and in particular beef cattle, are the biggest contributors to agricultural GHG and N emissions, producing up to 16-times the GWP (global warming potential) and N emissions per Kg of dairy, pig- and poultry-protein. As consumer trends are not predicted to change significantly in the next decade, and with animal-protein production expected to expand, strategies which include producing biorefinery protein products as direct animal protein feed substitutes become feasible. Policy and/or profitable business models are required to ensure that large climate mitigating impacts can be achieved.


OBJECTIVES

Life Farm4More aims to deliver climate change mitigating impacts for the livestock industry by implementing an economically viable organic animal feed and a biochar production strategy. Specific objectives include: 1. Demonstrating and assessing substantial GHG reductions in cattle production by using pre-treated organic/non-organic grass-legume press-cakes with/without biochar; 2. Producing organic/non-organic crude protein (CP) and hydrolysed protein, amino acid (AA) and polypeptides (PP) concentrates as organic/non-organic animal feeds; 3. Establishing and operating a Member State/stakeholder group (Ireland, Austria, Denmark) for geo-specific biorefinery implementation; 4. Characterising and optimising biorefinery products for various feed applications; 5. Executing animal feeding tests using biorefinery products (biochar, CP or AA-PP concentrate and press cake) to create feeding strategies that: a. maximise animal performances while minimising GHG, N and P emissions, b. assess the optimal emission reduction implementation; 6. Screening for alternative feed substrates (e.g. seaweed) and additional non-feed applications for the generated biorefinery products; 7. Assessing the economic feasibility of selected business cases; and 8. Building a strong base for the Farm4more initiative by integrating existing expertise from green biorefining actors from Austria and Ireland, and the projects biorefinery stakeholder group in Denmark.

The projects activities will directly support a range of climate and agriculturally-related policy at European and national scale, including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Rural Development Policy, Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) and the National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive (2016/2284).


RESULTS

Expected results:

  • reduced cattle and poultry production of GHG emissions with a biochar feeding strategy, to target a reduction in excreted N and P for all animals and also reduce cattle methane (CH4) emissions by 10-30%;
  • the identification of a more sustainable animal protein production model to reduce GHG emissions, utilising 20% dry matter (DM) grass to produce protein products for pigs and poultry consumption (as opposed to cattle production);
  • implementation of environmentally-sustainable land management strategies, using grass-clover leys to reduce/remove the use of N fertilisers that could potentially achieve a GHG emission reduction of 0.37 to 0.28 kg CO2 equiv. per kg grass produced;
  • a press-cake feeding strategy for dairy cattle that will ensure milk production is maximised, while reducing urine and faecal N and P emissions by 5-12% and 10-22%, respectively;
  • protein-product feeding strategy for poultry that will reduce GHG emissions, and N and P excretions;
  • increased sustainability of the green biorefinery process, by attributing the GHG emissions to the 20% grass-silage DM used to produce the biorefinery product, to achieve a reduction of about 11.5 to 2.8-2.3 kg CO2 equiv. per kg protein product produced; and
  • securing additional climate mitigating biorefinery input substrates in anticipation of increasing future animal-protein consumer demand. The GHG reductions attributed to replacing the drying seaweed preservation method with that of a novel ensiling process will be assessed in relation to their impact on seaweed-production and the biorefinery process, respectively.
  • ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE18 CCM/IE/001195
    Acronym: LIFE Farm4More
    Start Date: 01/07/2019
    End Date: 30/06/2023
    Total Budget: 5,494,598 €
    EU Contribution: 3,022,027 €
    Project Location:

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: UCD School of Biosystems & Food Engineering
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: UCD School of Biosystems & Food Engineering, Belfield, D4, Co. Dublin, Ireland
    Contact Person: Kevin McDonnell
    Email: kevin.mcdonnell@ucd.ie
    Tel: 35317167472
    Website: http://www.ucd.ie/biosystems/


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors
    • Agriculture - Forestry

    KEYWORDS

    • agricultural method
    • Agriculture
    • greenhouse gas
    • animal foodstuff
    • climate change mitigation

    TARGET EU LEGISLATION

    • Directive 2001/81- National emissions ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants (23.10.2001)
    • Directive 91/676 - Protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (12.12.1991)

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