Pork producers play a fundamental role in environmental stewardship as they continue to prioritize sustainable production practices. Iowa State University animal science graduate research assistant Erika Johnson says continuous improvement in this area requires strengthening the understanding of the relationship between the environment and production practices.
"Our recent pork industry sustainability tool, the wean-to-finish pork sustainability calculator, was developed for producers," she says. "They can use their own data to understand how specific improvements in finishing, such as increased feed efficiency and reduced mortality, can influence the environmental footprint of the pig and barn."
Download the calculator at no charge from the IPIC website.
A new fact sheet, evaluating Production Metrics in Relation to Sustainability in a Wean-to-Finish Barn, was created as a reference for those using the calculator. It helps explain why the calculator was developed and how the information from calculator inputs can be used. It describes sources of greenhouse gas production and includes sensitivity analyses of carbon dioxide equivalents by mortality, feed efficiency and feed type.
Garland Dahlke, research scientist for Iowa Beef Center; Lance Baumgard, animal science professor; and Jason Ross, animal science professor and department chair for animal science, all at Iowa State University; are the other authors of this fact sheet, IPIC 203, available from the ISU extension store as a free download.