A Comparison of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions From the Sheep Industry With Beef Production in Canada

James A Dyer, Xavier P. C. Verge, Raymond L. Desjardins, Devon E. Worth


Sheep production in Canada is a small industry in comparison to other livestock systems. Because of the potential for expansion of the sheep industry in Canada, the GHG emissions budget of this industry was assessed in this paper. The GHG emissions from Canadian lamb production were compared with those from the Canadian beef industry using the ULICEES model. The GHG emission intensity of the Canadian lamb industry was 21% higher than lamb production in France and Wales, and 27% higher than northern England. Enteric methane accounts for more than half of the GHG emissions from sheep in Canada. The protein based GHG emission intensity is 60% to 90% higher for sheep than for beef cattle in Canada. The GHG emission intensity for sheep in Eastern Canada is higher than for sheep in Western Canada. Protein based GHG emission intensity is more sensitive to the difference between sheep and beef than LW based emission intensity. This paper demonstrated that protein based GHG emission intensity is a more meaningful indicator for comparing different livestock species than live weight (LW) based GHG emission intensity.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/sar.v3n3p65

Sustainable Agriculture Research   ISSN 1927-050X (Print)   ISSN 1927-0518 (Online)

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