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Farm water productivity in broiler production: case studies in Brazil

Drastig, Katrin, Palhares, Julio Cesar Pascale, Karbach, Katharina, Prochnow, Annette
Journal of cleaner production 2016 v.135 pp. 9-19
broiler chickens, carcass weight, case studies, chicken meat, cleaning, computer software, cooling, corn, drinking, drinking water, energy, farming systems, farms, finishing, meat consumption, models, poultry production, water utilization, Brazil
The expected increase in broiler meat consumption in Brazil in future will lead to further increase in water use. The objective of this study was to quantify water productivity of four Brazilian broiler farms. Water use in the four farming systems was analyzed in terms of feed production, drinking, cleaning, and cooling. One focus was the crop water productivity of the respective corn and soy producing regions in Brazil. After the spatial and temporal boundaries of the farm system and the water flows were defined, the indicator farm water productivity was calculated to assess water use at the farm scale. The farm water productivity describes the ratio of farm output to water input, where the water input is the total of those water inflows into the farm system that can be assigned to the generation of farm output. Farm output is expressed on a mass basis, food energy basis, and monetary basis. The farm water productivity and the crop water productivity were calculated using the modeling software AgroHyd Farmmodel. In all fattening systems, water input for feed production accounted for 99.7% of the total water input. In the four systems, farm water productivity accounted for 0.29–0.33 kg carcass weight per m³ water input, 2.60–2.88 MJ food energy per m³ water input, and 0.15–0.17 R$ per m³ water input. The results showed that the highest water demand was for feed production. Improvements in nutritional management will increase the water efficiency of broiler farms.