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Environmental performance of animal feed production from Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz: Influence of crop management practices under Mediterranean conditions

Martinez, Sara, Alvarez, Sergio, Capuano, Anibal, Delgado, Maria del Mar
Agricultural systems 2020 v.177 pp. 102717
Camelina sativa, animal feeding, composts, crop management, diesel fuel, energy use and consumption, environmental impact, environmental performance, feeds, feedstocks, fertilizer application, gas emissions, herbicides, life cycle assessment, meat and bone meal, mineral fertilizers, pressing, soil, tillage, tractors, wastes
Animal feeding has been identified to be a key factor in environmental sustainability. For this reason, by carrying out a life cycle assessment, this investigation is focused on studying the environmental performance of the production of Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz as feedstock for animal meal in Spanish Mediterranean soils. Experiments in five non-irrigated plots were conducted applying different crop management practices: herbicide pre-emergence (P1), herbicide post-emergence (P2), P mineral fertilization (P3), P+N mineral fertilization (P4), and compost fertilization (P5). The production of animal meal press cake consisted of two processes, seed production and seed pressing. Results showed that seed production represents, on average, 88% of the total impacts for all of the treatments. The main differences were allocated to crop management practices. In systems P1 and P2, where no fertilizers were added, the field operation of soil tillage is the main responsible for the environmental impacts, mainly due to diesel fuel consumption and the exhaust gas emissions generated by engine tractors. On the other hand, in P3, P4 and P5, the fertilization process contributed significantly to the increase of the environmental impacts. However, it has to be noted that compost fertilization could exhibit less environmental impacts than mineral fertilization if avoided burdens were considered. In this sense, the application of compost could be regarded as a way of promoting waste valorization.