Sustainable Livestock Development
(incl. Agricultural & Environmental Policies)

This section documents information related to the sustainable use of our natural resources in animal-based agriculture (conservation, re-cycling, environmental protection). Some of the documents will be more policy-related in nature.




See Also


Twelfth Biennial Report [1343 KB pdf] (Sept. 2004). International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes (Prepared pursuant to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978 for submission to the Governments of the United States and Canada and the State and Provincial Governments of the Great Lakes Basin) - Without adequate safeguards, our health can be threatened by pathogens and disease-bearing microorganisms. The governments must focus increased attention on protecting the sources of drinking water supplies. In particular, coordinated action by all those responsible for managing watersheds is required to avoid impacts from expanded land use pressures from agriculture, development, industry and urban centers. See also: PLUARG Program

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) - 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 0Y4; Tel:(204) 958-7700; Fax: (204) 958-7710; E-mail:  - For development to be sustainable it must integrate environmental stewardship, economic development and the well-being of all people&  not just for today but for countless generations to come. - IISD meets this challenge by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change, measurement and indicators, and natural resource management to make development sustainable.

Sustainable Livestock Development in Manitoba: "Finding Common Ground". [327 KB pdf]. Report prepared for the Government of Manitoba by the Livestock Stewardship Panel Ed Tyrchniewicz (Chair), Nick Carter,  John Whitaker (December 2000) - The Panel is convinced that common ground  can be found for sustainable livestock development in Manitoba. It will require a commitment by the provincial government and the livestock industry to deal with many concerns about the impact of livestock on Manitoba’s environment and rural landscape. It will also require a greater willingness on the part of opponents of the livestock industry to recognize that sustainable livestock development is not inherently bad. 

Hog Environmental Management Strategy (1998-99) Environment Bureau, Policy Branch, AAFC. The Hog Environmental Management Strategy (HEMS) was a partnership between the federal and provincial governments and the hog industry led jointly by the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), with the objective of developing a concerted national approach to finding effective and affordable solutions to the environmental challenges confronting the industry.

Advanced Treatment Technologies for Livestock and Poultry Manures and AAFC's Sustainable Development Strategy II (SDS II) (2001 - 2004), Environment Bureau, Policy Branch, AAFC. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC's) Sustainable Development Strategy, Agriculture in Harmony with Nature: Strategy for Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture and Agri-Food Development in Canada, developed in consultation with many sectoral and interest groups, was tabled in Parliament in April 1997.

Cultivating a Secure Future [239 KB PDF] Rural Development and Sustainable Agriculture in Canada.  Environment Canada - A Canadian contribution to the land use dialogue at the Eighth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 24 to May 5, 2000. Cultivating a secure future in Canada involves careful attention to rural development, including sustainable agriculture. Progress in these areas must be set in the context of federal–provincial agreements and budgetary constraints, international debates and instruments, and, perhaps most important, the will of Canadians to make changes and adopt the ethics that sustainability requires.

Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative Inc. - Manitoba’s livestock industry is booming. This dynamic growth is bringing wealth and jobs to the province, but it is also raising concerns over manure odour and management. Set up in 1998, the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative Inc. is a livestock industry-driven approach to address these concerns.

Strategies to overcome institutional barriers to the transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture in Canada: the role of government, research institutions and agribusiness [321 KB pdf]- Roderick John MacRae, Ph.D. Thesis, Dept of Renewable Resources McGill University, Jan.1991 Montréal; This research project has been undertaken to support the development of a sustainable food system in Canada. Interest in sustainable agriculture is presently found throughout Canadian society. Farmers seek information on the transition process, consumers are buying the products of sustainable systems, new businesses are being created, public interest groups promote it, and governments are developing policy initiatives.

National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) (Canada); Environment and Sustainable Development Indicators (ESDI) for Canada [pdf] (2003). A three-year program to develop and promote a focussed set of national indicators that are credible, relevant and well-accepted; Eco-efficiency - practical approach that businesses are adopting in setting and achieving their environmental performance objectives;   Sustainable Development Issues for the New Millennium;  Health, Environment and the Economy - create recommendations on improving the way Canada manages potentially toxic substances. (Ceased MAr. 31m 2013)

Sustainable Development in Canada: A New Federal Plan  [325 KB pdf] (Sept. 2001) Karen Clark, Jennifer McKay, Anne Mitchell -Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, 517 College Street, Suite 400, Toronto, ON M6G 4A2 - What we have done is provide an analysis of sustainable development and propose a new way of setting goals and making decisions about how to get there. We need to act now to ensure that we have a healthy environment to sustain life and an economy for future generations.  

Select Committee On Alternative Fuel Sources - Final Report to Ontario Legislature (June 2002) [936 KB pdf]- Doug Galt, Chair; Marie Bountrogianni, Vice-Chair.  The Select Committee on Alternative Fuel Sources, an all-party Committee of the Ontario Legislature, was appointed on June 28, 2001 with a broad mandate "to investigate, report and recommend ways of supporting the development and application of environmentally sustainable alternatives to our existing fossil [carbon-based] fuel sources."

"Securing Agriculture's Future: Invest Today ~ Prosper Tomorrow" [610 KB PDF] - Prime Minster's Caucus Task Force on Future Opportunities in Farming (Nov. 27, 2002) - provide final observations and recommendations designed to assure the future health and prosperity of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry, and rural communities.  

Big Farms, Small Farms: Strategies in Sustainable Agriculture to Fit All Sizes (Sep 2005) [206 KB pdf] - Hugh Maynard (Qu’anglo Communications & Consulting  3202 Tullochgorum, Ormstown, QC J0S 1K0); Jacques Nault, Logiag Inc., 13 Place Raquepas, Ste-Martine, QC J0S 1V0; For Agric. Inst. of Canada - Given the continuing trend towards larger farms – 2% of farms now produce 35% of the food in Canada – this paper proposes that strategies for sustainable agriculture must include both small and large farms.




Factory vs. Sustainable Pork Production: Two Videos, One Case for Transparency - Huffington Post, July 14, 2010. Not many people would actually choose to get near a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). In fact, lots of people spend lots of time trying to prevent such outfits from being built in their communities. But last fall, I jumped at the opportunity to visit a hog confinement in Iowa, as did several dozen other food activists, because such a glimpse into the secretive world of factory farming is rarer than a heritage breed pork chop in your average supermarket

What is Sustainable Agriculture? Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP), Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616, (916) 752-7556. - Concept Themes; Farming and Natural Resources; Plant Production Practices; Animal Production Practices; The Economic, Social & Political Context.

Growing Carbon: A New Crop That Helps Agricultural Producers and the Climate Too [744 KB pdf]; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service - Agriculture produces substantial amounts of two greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide, and minor amounts of carbon dioxide. Many practices that are adopted by agricultural producers for a variety of benefits also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and thereby help slow climate change.

Integrated Nutrient Management, Soil Fertility, and Sustainable Agriculture: Current Issues and Future Challenges. [158 KB pdf],  Sept 2000. Peter Gruhn, Francesco Goletti, and Montague Yudelman,  Int. Food Policy Research Inst.,2033 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006 U.S.A.  As long as agriculture remains a soil-based industry, major increases in productivity are unlikely to be attained without ensuring that plants have an adequate and balanced supply of nutrients. They call for an Integrated Nutrient Management approach to the management of plant nutrients for maintaining and enhancing soil, where both natural and man -made sources of plant nutrients are used. The key components of this approach are described; the roles and responsibilities of various actors, including farmers and institutions, are delineated; and recommendations for improving the management of plant nutrients and soil fertility are presented.

International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033 K Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20006-1002 U.S.A.  Tel.: (202)862-5600; Fax: (202)467-4439; E-mail:  The mission of the International Food Policy Research Institute is to identify and analyze policies for sustainably meeting the food needs of the developing world. Research at IFPRI concentrates on economic growth and poverty alleviation in low-income countries, improvement of the well-being of poor people, and sound management of the natural resource base that supports agriculture.

Environmental Policies and Agricultural Land Values: Evidence from the Dutch Nutrient Quota System [145 KB pdf]. Tomislav Vukina and Ada Wossink, Dept of Agric.& Resource Econ., N. Carolina State U., Nelson Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695-8109 - paper analyzes the impact of the phosphate based animal production rights on agricultural land values in the Netherlands. We claim that the existence of mandatory production control program with regional restriction on trading causes a disproportional increase in land prices in the surplus region where the quota is binding relative to the deficit region where the quota is not binding and that the increase in the cost of environmental compliance should generate an eroding effect on the existing gap in land prices. The parameters of an inverse land demand model estimated with panel data support both hypotheses.

The New Rules Project. Comprehensive resource for policy makers, organizations and activists looking for innovative public policies enacted around the world that can be used to make your communities vibrant and strong.  AgricultureEnvironmentDemocratic Electricity.

The Relationship Between Contracting and Livestock Waste Pollution. Tomislav Vukina, Agric. & Resource Economics, North Carolina State U., Box 8109, Raleigh, NC 27695-8109  - This paper investigates factors and mechanisms that influence the relationship between contracting and animal waste pollution. The questions raised are whether contracting worsens livestock waste management problems and how to apportion the burden of regulation between the contracting parties in a socially optimal way.

Policy Alternatives to Achieve a Dramatic Reduction in Environmental Impacts from Midwestern Agriculture  [396 KB pdf] (March 2001). Mid-West Commodities and Conservation Initiative - Scott M. Swinton, Dept. of Agric. Economics, Michigan State University;  initiative focused on the commodification of agriculture and tried to identify potential entry points and policy interventions to move the production system toward environmental sustainability.

Study on the Economic and Environmental Implications of the Use of Environmental Taxes and Charges in the European Union and its Member States. EUROPA Ch.9: Taxes on Fertilizers and Mineral Surpluses [142 KB pdf. Ideally, one taxes not nitrate per se, but that proportion of nitrate that is applied which causes the pollution of surface and ground waters (in other words the surplus of nitrates).  The Netherlands has also recently implemented a system of nitrate surplus taxes.



Implementation of Ecologically Sustainable Development by Commonwealth Departments and Agencies (Feb., 2000); Productivity Commission, Government of Australia. The Industry Commission conducted an inquiry into the ecologically sustainable management of agricultural and pastoral land. The Commission's aim was to improve the overall performance of the Australian economy. The inquiry will have regard to the established economic, social, environmental and regional development objectives of government.  

Modernised Biomass Energy For Sustainable Development [3058 KB pdf]. Bioenergy Primer - United Nations Development Programme (with support from the Government of Norway) - Energy and Atmosphere Programme (EAP) - Authors - Sivan Kartha Eric D. Larson. ISBN number: 92-1-126127-9 (2000) - Biomass accounts for about one third of all energy in developing countries as a whole, and nearly 90 percent in some of the least developed countries. Over 2 billion people continue to rely on biomass fuels and traditional technologies for cooking and heating and 1.5-2 billion people have no access to electricity.

Biomass Energy System Businesses in the World by Business Name with Web Sites- extensive listings, sorted by Name, Energy Systems, or by renewable energy businesses.

Bioenergy for development - Technical and environmental dimensions. FAO Environment and energy paper 13 - J. Woods and D.O. Hall, Kings College London, Division of Life Sciences, London, UK; FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Fiat/Panis, Rome, 1994 Reprinted 1995. View/Download complete report[1045 KB pdf]

Statistics for Environmental Policy [1150 KB pdf] - Munich Centre for Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics, Pfälzer-Wald-Str. 2, D 81539 München; Tel. ++49/89/68987-0;  Fax ++49/89/68987888 - course presented by the Munich Centre in 1997 to provide information on sustainable development to policy and decision makers.

Agriculture, Trade and the Environment: The Pig Sector (Overview) [49 KB pdf] (Oct. 2003) OECD  - Pig production in OECD countries raises a number of policy challenges when viewed in terms of the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable agriculture; environmental consequences of pig production are of increasing public concern, particularly regarding the management of pig manure in relation to water and air pollution. There are also human health issues, especially for those engaged in or living nearby large-scale pig operations.

The State of Trade and Environmental Law 2003: Implications for Doha and Beyond [3917 KB pdf] (Sept 2003) International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Winnipeg, MB - The relationship between trade and environment has, over the last decade, become an important focus for many environmental and other civil society groups. In an effort to make this focus more productive, IISD and CIEL have joined forces to look at the current state of trade law as it relates to some key environmental issues.

Use of Environmental Life Cycle Assessment to Evaluate Alternative Agricultural Production Systems [64 KB pdf] S.J. Cowell, Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH; Proc. 52nd N.Z. Plant Protection Conf. 1999: 40-44 - LCA is an environmental management tool for assessing the comprehensive environmental impacts of products, processes and activities. Assessment is undertaken along the life cycle from extraction of raw materials, through processing, manufacturing, transportation, use and on to final disposal.

The Phosphate Fertilizer Industry: An Environmental Overview. Michael Connett, Fluoride Action Network (May 2003). They call them "wet scrubbers" - the pollution control devices used by the phosphate industry to capture fluoride gases produced in the production of commercial fertilizer. Fluoride has been, and remains to this day, one of the largest environmental liabilities of the phosphate industry. The source of the problem lies in the fact that raw phosphate ore contains high concentrations of fluoride, usually between 20,000 to 40,000 parts per million (equivalent to 2 to 4% of the ore).

Environmental Aspects of Phosphate and Potash Mining (2001)[1702 KB pdf]. United Nations Environment Programme & International Fertilizer Industry Association - this publication completes a series that looks at environmental aspects of the fertilizer industry throughout the life-cycle of mineral fertilizer products. In this volume, the holistic way of looking at an issue is applied to the activities of the fertilizer raw materials sector, incorporating the concept of the whole-of-mine-life thinking and planning.

Sustainable Intensification of Livestock Production Systems: An Environmental Perspective with Particular Attention to Animal Genetic Resources [35 KB pdf] Cees de Haan; Louise L. Setshwaelo -The World Bank Group - Over the next decades, decision makers at all levels concerned with livestock development and the environment face a tremendous tasks. The demand for livestock products is most likely to increase dramatically, causing a strong increase in the pressure on the environment. There is thus a need to develop a coherent strategy of the critical public sector functions, which need to be supported, to create the enabling environment for the private sector to conserve land, water and wild and domestic bio-diversity.


Farm-Based Renewable Energy Systems

   See also:



A New Paradigm for Agriculture

Bruce T. Bowman
(May,2005; updated June, 2007)

Farm-based renewable energy using anaerobic digestion (A.D.) technology can make a positive contribution to a national renewable energy strategy by providing distributed electricity baseload capacity (7/24 operation) or peak demand supply, while remediating key environmental problems (odours, pathogens, GHGs).  Manure processing, through anaerobic digester co-generation systems, is the key to producing odour- and pathogen-free products that are essential for providing farmers with increased flexibility in managing nutrients on their farms or exporting excess nutrients off-farm, and in doing so, facilitating large-scale livestock nutrient recycling. Furthermore, anaerobic digestion can effectively kill weed seeds during processing and result in substantially reduced herbicide usage on fields using processed manure slurries.

The future of confined livestock farming may well be re-defined around " farmer-owned co-op energy centres", which may include small co-located bio-product industries (value-added manufacturing) that rely upon large amounts of electrical and/or thermal energy (greenhouses - vegetables/flowers, bio-ethanol plants, animal rendering plants, deadstock processing plants or even fish farms), as well as carbon dioxide (from co-gen exhaust) and clean water. Included in the partnership could be the local municipality, who will benefit by having its organic residuals (food wastes, green wastes, etc) processed at the centralized plant.

There are several new sources of revenue for farm energy centres, including:

  1. Sale of green electricity to the grid (Ontario - Std. Purchase Offer -11¢/Kwh; peak hrs - 14.5¢/Kwh).
  2. Sale of processed manure solids (in excess of on-farm nutrient requirements) as value-added organic fertilizers, or soil amendments,
  3. Emission trading credits for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions - First payment to US farmer for GHG emission reductions from Environmental Credit Corp., (Haubenschild Farm, MN, Jan 16, 2006)
  4. Tipping fees for accepting food-grade organics from the food/beverage industry, that will boost biogas production by as much as 25%, and
  5. Production of bio-fuels (ethanol, E-85, or bio-diesel)

These sources of revenue will provide a new level of income stabilization for farmers, long vulnerable to large fluctuations in agricultural commodity prices.

Farm Bio-energy Centres can provide the following benefits:

  1. Environmental Solutions for longstanding issues (odour, pathogens, GHG reduction, deadstock processing; ALSO - reducing herbicide usage by killing weed seeds in manure, and recycling processed manure solids for bedding, both benefits reducing input costs for the farmer. 
  2. Income Stabilization through new diversified sources of income (bio-energy revenue from animal wastes is essentially independent from cyclic livestock or crop commodity prices), and,
  3. Rural Revitalization through increased employment, and increased empowerment of farm-based co-operatives to manage bio-based industries in rural communities. Rather than often being in an adversarial position with their local municipality over zoning and environmental issues, they are now in a position to partner with their municipality to solve mutual problems, and revitalize rural communities.

The linkages between these 3 major benefits are conceptually displayed in the following graphic.

There are substantial positive impacts, both at input and output stages, for rural communities using decentralized bio-fuel production, if farm-scale production of bio-fuels can be stimulated with new policy approaches:

Inputs:     Biomass for bio-fuel plants can be locally sourced, reducing transportation costs and associated
                GHG emissions, while boosting the local agricultural economy.

Outputs:   A distributed network of bio-fuel refuelling stations across the landscape near the source
                 of production would substantially reduce transportation costs and associated GHG/air
                quality impacts.

With the emergence of a new era in the competition for (and the uncertainty in) our dwindling fossil fuel reserves, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is now available to the Agriculture Sector – that being the development of a bio-based “carbon” economy in which bio-energy production will revolutionize and re-define the way in which we produce our food, and in particular, livestock production.

However, the window of opportunity for the Agriculture Sector to take ownership of bio-fuel production at farm scale is rather brief. The sector must quickly take advantage of this opportunity during the transition from fossil to bio -fuels, otherwise traditional energy companies and large agricultural multi-national corporations (See: N. Dakota canola-bio-diesel plant [pdf] will dominate the bio-fuels industry as they have with fossil fuel resources. There are already several large U.S. “manure-powered” bio-fuel plants under construction at large feedlots, which can be considered as ‘biorefineries”

In summary, farmers can free themselves from the vulnerability to cyclic livestock and crop commodity prices, while diversifying and stabilizing their farm incomes through generation of increasingly -valuable green energy (electrical, thermal) from livestock manure and other local biomass sources (e.g. crop and food wastes), leading to energy independence. Besides solving longstanding environmental issues commonly associated with livestock production (odours, pathogens), these new, more holistic approaches to agricultural production provide opportunities for development of rural, on-farm industries, which will revitalize, and empower rural communities (employment, tax base). Farm-based bio-fuel operations might also develop as a cooperative among several nearby farm operations in order to achieve an adequate scale of operation. Of significance, the State of Minnesota already has upwards of 300 E-85 refuelling stations distributed across their state.

View / Download Commentary[63 KB pdf]

Related Stories

A recent article in The Scotsman presents a similar opportunity for Scottish farmers.



Renewable Energy Resource Sites

 Bioenergy Program; Biomas Energy Databook - Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Canadian Renewable Energy Network (CanREN) Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN), 580 Booth St., 13th Floor, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E4;   Purpose is to increase the understanding of renewable energy to accelerate the development and commercialization of renewable energy technologies.

IEA Bioenergy - set up in 1978 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programs in bioenergy research, development and deployment - Canada - contact Peter Hall, NRCAN, Ottawa.

Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) - 122 C Street, NW, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20001 |  Phone: (202) 628-1400  |  Fax: (202) 628-1825  |

Focus on Energy (Wisconsin)    Tel.: 800-762-7077; a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment, and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin.

Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, 1614 Morningside Dr., Iowa City, IA 52245 Tel/fax: (319) 354-0258  Network of organizations working for a system of agriculture that is economically profitable, environmentally sound, family-farm based, and socially just.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL),US Dept. of Energy, 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO 80401-3393; Tel.: (303) 275-3000; Email: is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy's effort to secure an energy future for the nation that is environmentally and economically sustainable. See also: How Green is My State?

Public Interest Energy Research (PIER), California Energy Commission - 916-654-5129 - supports public interest energy research and development that will help improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, affordable and reliable energy services and products to the marketplace.

RePowering the Midwest. Environmental Law & Policy Center - Source for Clean Energy Info in the MidWest.

World Council for Renewable Energy. c/o EUROSOLAR e.V., Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 11, 53113 Bonn / Germany; Tel.:  +49 (228) 36 23 73 / 75; Fax: +49 (228) 36 12 13 / 79; eMail:


Renewable Energy Information

Renewable Energy - Canada

Expanding Opportunities For Renewable Energy In Ontario (Mar.21, 2006) - New Standard Price Will Add Up To 1,000 Megawatts Over The Next 10 Years. Through Ontario's Standard Offer Program, the government will set a fixed price for small renewable energy projects. Under the plan, the Ontario Power Authority will purchase electricity produced by wind, biomass or small hydroelectric at a base price of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. The fixed price for solar will be 42 cents per kilowatt-hour.

 Identifying Environmentally Preferable Uses For Biomass Resources:
    STAGE 1 REPORT: Identification of Feedstock-to-Product Threads (Mar. 2004) [2931 KB pdf].
 Martin Tampier, Doug Smith, Eric Bibeau, Paul A. Beauchemin, EnviroChem Services, N. Vancouver, BC; for NRCan, Comm. for Env. Co-operation, NRC Canada - report builds on past studies to summarize the size of Canada’s major biomass resources (forestry, agricultural, and municipal residues, landfill gas and energy crops) and for each sector identifies a number of possibilities and technologies that could be applied to this resource for energy and other potential commercial purposes.
  Stage II report: Life-Cycle GHG Emission Reduction Benefits of Selected Feedstock-to-Product Threads July, 2004) [1134 KB pdf]; examined the ghg reduction effects of several biomass feedstock-to-product threads identified in the Stage 1 report. Based on lifecycle GHG emission analysis, the emissions from growing, collecting, and processing biomass were assessed and weighed against the displaced emissions from fossil fuels. The overall results are presented on a per (metric, dry) tonne of biomass input basis and also per hectare of land used for energy crops.

Ontario Energy Minister Seeks 300 MW of renewable energy [19 KB pdf]. Ontario Ministry of Energy  - The Ontario government is seeking up to 300 MW of renewable energy capacity to be in service as soon as possible. This will help the government meet its target for 5 per cent (1,350 MW) of all generating capacity to come from renewables by 2007. “We are sending a clear signal that we want participants in the market interested in supply, renewables and conservation to come to the table to help us meet these targets,” the Minister added.

Green Power Opportunities For Ontario [395 KB pdf] (2002) Christine Elwell and Edan Rotenberg, Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy - it is within Ontario’s capacity to economically reduce energy waste and generate sufficient ‘green energy’ (i.e., energy from a renewable and environmentally benign sources) for the province to decommission its coal burning power plants (and reduce its reliance on nuclear generation) while moving toward a sustainable energy economy.

Smart Generation: POWERING ONTARIO WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY [2497 KB pdf] (2004) David Suzuki Foundation. The report illustrates how the abundant renewable resources of wind and hydropower can be effectively integrated in Ontario to provide a cost-effective, reliable, and clean alternative to conventional generation - also identifies key policy mechanisms that can help Ontario become a North American leader in renewable energy and thereby achieve a more stable and reliable electricity system, a cleaner environment, and the development of a new and vibrant economic engine.

First Steps to Energy Management. Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development; booklet provides a straightforward approach to energy accounting, the first step in the energy management process. Energy accounting is the foundation for beginning to improve energy management on your farm. It helps you to see exactly how much energy you are using and what it is costing you - A DO-IT -YOURSELF workbook View / Download Booklet [900 KB pdf].

Agricultural Biomass Residue Inventories and Conversion Systems for Energy Production in Eastern Canada - Final Report (July, 2002)[473 KB pdf] - Prepared for Natural Resources-Canada - T. Helwig, R. Jannasch.,R. Samson, A. DeMaio and D. Caumartin, Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP)- Canada, Box 125, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, H9X-3V9 - It is clear that considerable potential for bioenergy production from agricultural residues and wastes exists in eastern Canada, but considerable work still remains to match appropriately scaled conversion technologies with existing feedstock supplies before the full potential of biofuels can be realized.   appendices include extensive data on crop residue stats, manure production by province, manure & biogas production.

Renewable Energy - U.S.A.

PIER Advanced Generation Roadmap - Background Paper (Aug. 2009) [2329 KB pdf]. Prepared For: California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER)  By: Navigant Consulting, Inc.  The Advanced Generation (AG) program is one of the key focus areas for the PIER Program. Over the last 10 yr, PIER AG has invested $102 M in advanced electricity generation, which is roughly 20 percent of its research, development and demonstration (RD&D) funding. Distributed generation and combined heat and power systems have been a key research focus area for the PIER AG program in the past. This paper will examine the state and federal policy framework for advanced generation in California, assess the current status of advanced generation technologies, and identify significant trends and issues as well as strategic opportunities for PIER Advanced Generation RD&D.

Growing Carbon: A New Crop That Helps Agricultural Producers and the Climate Too. [PDF] (2000) USDA/NRCS. Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. This old saying may no longer be quite true. While day-to-day weather is hard to predict, more and more evidence suggests that human activities are beginning to change the overall climate of our planet, in ways that may hurt agricultural producers. But producers have opportunities to help efforts to slow climate change, to build a cushion against its harmful effects, and perhaps to grow a new crop—carbon.

Analysis of USDA Farm Bills USDA Economic Research Service  - Title IX: Energy - New programs encourage renewable energy use by biorefineries, renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements, rural energy self sufficiency, development of next generation feedstocks, and use of forest and woody biomass for energy production.

Two Different Approaches to Funding Farm-Based Biogas Projects in Wisconsin and California [302 KB pdf] (Sept. 2002)  Kevin Porter, Exeter Associates Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger, Berkeley Lab - California and Wisconsin are the two leading dairy producing states in the nation. Both states are interested in developing biogas projects from livestock manure, but have targeted this renewable energy application differently.

Methane Recovery from Animal Manures: The Current Opportunities Casebook (Sept. 1998) [2794 KB pdf]; NREL/SR-580-25145; by Philip Lusk, Resource Development Associates, Washington, DC on behalf of National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1617 Cole Boulevard, Golden, Colorado 80401-3393 - Anaerobic Digestion benefits farmers monetarily and mitigates possible manure pollution problems, thereby sustaining development while maintaining environmental quality. Rural economic development will benefit from the implicit multiplier effect resulting from jobs created by implementing digester systems. Promising future waste-to-profit activities may add to the economic performance of AD. New end-use applications, which provide added value to co-products, are discussed.

Renewable Power and Energy Efficiency: Policies in Iowa and Other States [209 KB pdf] (April 2003). The Iowa Policy Project, 318 2nd Ave.  N., Mount Vernon, Iowa 52314; Matthew D. Ritsema, Mark A. Edelman, Daniel M. Otto  - This report provides a primer on innovative programs and experiences from other states and current programs in Iowa. Included in the report are responses to four specific questions designed to address this topic:

Tinedale Farms Anaerobic Digester: A biomass energy project [595 KB pdf] (July 2002) (Report 210-1) -  Madison, WI 53711-1076; Phone: 608.238.4601; Fax: 608.238.8733; Email:  Tinedale Farms LLP in Wrightstown, WI, is one of the largest dairy production operations in Wisconsin, housing nearly 2,500 animals; first temperature-phased Anaerobic Digestion (TPAD) system being operated by the dairy industry in the United States and the first AD system of any kind for the dairy industry in Wisconsin.

EIA [Energy Information Administration] Studies Show a National Renewable Electricity Standard Can Save Consumers and Businesses Money [205 KB pdf] -Union of Concerned Scientists - A national renewable electricity standard (RES) to provide 10% of U.S. electricity from wind, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy would have virtually no impact on electricity prices and could save energy consumers as much as $13.2 billion, according to the results of two studies by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Equal Access For American Farm Digester Electricity, RCM Digesters, Inc., Berkeley, CA 94704. Manure management is normally an all-cost activity that is short-changed at the first sign of economic stress.   Digesting manure to produce energy reduces pollution risk and gives a farmer a continuing income and a reason to manage his waste in an environmentally sound manner.  Utility power production and grid stability are achieved by a large number of generation stations operating together to supply the demand.  This grouping of varied sources provides backup and allows for failure or maintenance of any single source, so that the failure of one source does not cripple the grid.

Midwest Rural Energy Council, 460 Henry Mall, U. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706; Tel: 608-262-5062; Fax:608-262-1228; email:;  Promoting the safe and efficient use of energy within rural areas of the Midwest.  - Wisconsin Biogas Development Group (WBDG) - focuses on the concept of the utilization of manure, particularly from Wisconsin's dairy farms, for the production of methane to produce electricity or heat.

Renewable Energy Projects for Anaerobic Digestion. Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Division, California Energy Commission - Dairy Power To Electricity Program (to March 31, 2004) funded by the California Energy Commission to develop manure methane power production projects on California dairies.   [040206]
   Resource Potential and Barriers Facing the Development of Anaerobic Digestion of Animal Waste in California (1997) [3873 KB pdf] Mark Moser, Resource Conservation Management, Box 4715, Berkeley, CA (510) 658-4466

Wisconsin’s Farm Biogas Initiative [790 KB pdf] AgSTAR National Conference (Mar. 24, 2004) -  Don Wichert, Wisconsin Focus on Energy - median size of WI dairy herds = 50 - 99;  95 diary farms with >1000 animal units;  • 8 biogas systems on line; • 11 projects funded by USDA in 2003; • 8 projects supported by Focus on Energy; • 8-14 projects likely constructed in 2004/05.

Growing Energy on the Farm: Biomass Energy and Agriculture. Union of Concerned Scientists - Tripling U.S. use of biomass for energy could provide as much as $20 billion in new income for farmers and rural communities and reduce global warming emissions by the same amount as taking 70 million cars off the road.  

Biomass Resource Assessment in California [4.9 MB pdf] (April 2005) California Biomass Collaborative& Calif. Energy Commission - The three primary sources of biomass in the state are agriculture, forestry, and municipal wastes. Agriculture produces biomass as crop, animal, and processing residues such as straw, wood from orchards, animal manure, and hulls, shells, pits, pomace, and waste-water from food processing operations.

The Environmental Benefits of Cellulosic Energy Crops at a Landscape Scale (1995) [pdf]. Robin L. Graham1, Wei Liu1 and Burton C. English2; 1 Biofuels Feedstock Development Program, Env. Sci. Div., Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6335; 2 Institute of Agriculture, U. of Tennessee, Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 - paper presents a broad overview of the potential environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops, particularly the cellulosic energy crops currently under development. We use the term energy crop to mean a crop grown primarily to provide a feedstock for biofuels such as ethanol or to be burned for heat or electricity.

Biomass Use in Energy Production: New Opportunities for Agriculture. Testimony before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, May 6, 2004 - Tom L. Richard, Agric. & Biosystems Eng., Iowa State U., Ames, IA -   With strategic partnerships fostering both innovation and implementation, increasingly competitive conversion technologies, and efficient, sustainable feedstock strategies, the emerging bioeconomy has tremendous potential.  As integrated biobased production systems develop, with value chains from farm to biorefinery to consumer, it will be crucial to ensure we achieve both productivity and sustainability.

Farm Groups Pushing for Renewable Energy Standards [536 KB pdf] - Patrick Mazza, Harvesting Clean Energy - Farm organizations are increasingly moving to support renewable energy standards as one of the most powerful tools to build markets for biofuels, windpower and other agriculturally produced clean energy sources.

Minnesota Biomass  - Hydrogen and Electricity Generation Potential [64 KB pdf] (Feb. 2005)- National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO -Study was conducted to determine the total amount of biomass-derived hydrogen and electricity that could be produced in the State of Minnesota from its energy crops and residual biomass. Additionally, the percents of today’s gasoline consumption and electricity consumption were calculated, as well as the resulting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Cattle Manure To Fuel Ethanol Plant in Texas [14 KB pdf] (May 2005). The Panda Group, 4100 Spring Valley, Suite 1001, Dallas, TX; Tel: 972-980-7159 - Press Release - The Hereford, Texas  plant will be the most energy efficient fuel ethanol facility to be built in the nation. Instead of using natural gas in its boilers, the plant will utilize technology that converts cattle manure and cotton gin waste into clean burning bio-gas to power the plant, realizing an energy savings equivalent to 1,000 barrels of oil per day.

THE NEW HARVEST: Biofuels and Windpower for Rural Revitalization and National Energy Security (Nov. 2005) [2409 KB pdf] - The McKnight Foundation- Energy Foundation & Upper Midwest Clean Energy Initiative. By: Patrick Mazza, Climate Solutions/Harvesting Clean Energy Network & Eric Heitz, Energy Foundation - initiative is focused on helping the Midwest become the world leader in state-of-the art wind power and advanced technologies for producing biofuels—liquid fuels from crops and agricultural waste.

WTO LEGAL IMPACTS ON COMMODITY SUBSIDIES: GREEN BOX OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FARM BILL (July 2004) [148 KB pdf] - ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY CENTER, Chicago, IL - focus of the analysis is whether conservation and renewable energy and energy efficiency payments to U.S. farmers are “green box” programs and thus exempt from reductions on agricultural subsidies that the United States and other countries have agreed to as part of an effort to reduce aggregate levels of so-called “amber box” subsidies.


Renewable Energy - Europe

Producing Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources: Energy Sector Framework in 15 Countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America [2959 KB pdf] (2002) - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Postfach 5180, 65726 Eschborn, Germany - The study provides information about the crucial framework conditions for supplying electricity from renewable energy sources to public supply networks. It also looks at country-specific programmes and projects aimed at decentralised electricity generation without a connection to the public grid.

Renewable Energy: Danish Solutions [1350 KB pdf] (Sept. 2003) - Danish Energy Agency. This publication provides an updated overview of the Danish renewable energy sector. It describes a variety of Danish solutions that have been implemented to meet the challenge of utilising energy from wind, biomass and solar radiation. It also describes the results of new research and development within a range of promising future technologies.

Technology transfer at Folkecenter (Denmark). The Folkecenter technology transfer package enables companies to establish manufacturing and marketing within renewable energy technologies.

Bioenergy - New Growth for Germany  [2753 KB pdf] [2004] - Inst. for Applied Ecology - Renewable energies are good for the climate – that’s why the German Government wants to double their use by 2010, compared with 2000: for electricity, to 12.5%, and to 4% of its primary energy.

Survey Of Farm Biogas Plants With Combined Heat And Power Production In Austria [54 KB pdf] - Int'l Nordic Bioenergy 2003 Conf (Finland).; Christoph Walla & Walter Schneeberger, Inst. of Agric. Econ., U. of Natural Resources & Applied Life Sci., Vienna - The number of farm-based biogas plants in Austria increased rapidly in the recent past, a continuing interest in this technology is expected. A survey was carried out in 2002 to provide information for farmers and the decision makers involved. 

Agricultural Market Impacts Of Future Growth In The Production Of Biofuels (Feb. 2006) [424 KB pdf] - Martin von Lampe, Working Party on Agricultural Policies and Markets, OECD - principalobjective of the present study is to look at the economics of biofuel production and the likely impacts of an expected growth in biofuel-related demand for agricultural products on commodity markets. It describes the economics and policies in biofuel markets by bringing together available information on production technologies, costs and policy measures in major biofuel producing countries.


Life Cycle Assessments of Farm Energy Systems:
     Livestock wastes and Biomass/BioFuel Systems

See also:

Carbon and Energy Life-Cycle Assessment for Five Agricultural Anaerobic Digesters in Massachusetts on Small Dairy Farms.  [165 KB pdf] (2010). Chelsea Morris, William Jorgenson, & Sam Snellings, AGreen Energy LLC, 580 Harrison Ave Suite 404, Boston, Massachusetts, 02118, U.S.A. Int'l Food & Agribusiness Management Rev. 13(3), 2010. An assessment is conducted that quantifies environmental impact through estimates of useable energy produced and C emissions avoided by AGreen Energy’s project to install anaerobic digesters on five Massachusetts farms. The analysis shows the anaerobic co-digestion of manure and source separated organics under project conditions results in a net energy gain of 1:2.9 and a GHG emissions reduction of 50% over business as usual, justifying the technique as a sustainable residual management tool for dairy operations as well as food industry businesses.

Sustainable biomass: a systems view [2350 KB pdf] (Aug. 3-4, 2004).  John Sheehan, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO. USDOE/NASULGC Biomass and Solar Energy Workshops - Life cycle assessment allows us to quantify the benefits of bioenergy in terms of its ability to significantly reduce fossil energy, petroleum and greenhouse gas emissions along with identification of trade offs.

Environmental Benefits of Livestock Manure Management Practices and Technology by Life Cycle Assessment (2003) (abstract)D.L. Sandars; E. Audsley; C. Cañete; T.R. Cumby; I.M. Scotford; A.G. Williams, Process Eng. Div., Silsoe Res. Inst., Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedford, MK45 4HS, UK - Biosystems Engineering (2003) 84 (3), 267–281; LCA is constructed to compare the total emissions from different techniques for managing livestock wastes - several pig waste management options; environmental impacts have also been expressed as a proportion of the UK national emissions . This gives each impact a weighted-value that enables direct comparisons of disparate impacts. 

Life Cycle Assessment of Agricultural Production Systems: Current Issues and Future Perspectives [231 KB pdf] (2005). K. Hayashi et al., National Agric. Res. Center, Ibaraki, Japan. The applications of and recent issues on life cycle assessment (LCA) for agriculture are reviewed in order to provide an integrated perspective on environmental and food safety issues. First, the relationship between the good agricultural practice (GAP) approach and LCA of agricultural production systems is discussed. Second, applications of LCA to agricultural production systems are surveyed mainly on the basis of literature information. Third, future research challenges that are related to the characteristics specific to agriculture are outlined. Finally, a summary of the review and practical implications of this study are presented.

A Life Cycle Approach to Sustainable Agriculture Indicators - PROCEEDINGS [632 KB pdf] (Feb. 26-27, 1999), The Center for Sustainable Systems, U. of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI.

Better decision-making for  sustainable development - LCA Consultants (Denmark & USA)
     Publication List (examples below)

  • P H Nielsen, A Tukker, B P Weidema, E H Lauridsen, P Notten. (2004) · Environmental impact of the use of natural resources. Seville: Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, European Commission DG Joint Research Centre. (Technical Report EUR 21485 EN)
  • A M Nielsen, P H Nielsen, J D Jensen, M Andersen, B P Weidema (2004). Identification of processes affected by a marginal change in demand for food products - two examples on Danish pigs and cheese. Pp. 127-134 in N Halberg (ed.): Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-food sector. Proceedings from 4th International Conference, 2003.10.6-8, Bygholm.
  • P Notten, J Petrie (2003)· An integrated approach to uncertainty assessment in LCA. Presentation to the International Workshop on LCI-Quality, Karlsruhe, 2003.10.20-21.


Economic Issues

A Framework To Analyse The Interactions Of Whole Farm Profits And Environmental Burdens [34 KB pdf] (2003) Adrian G. Williams1,  Daniel L. Sandars1, Janet E. Annetts1 - Eric Audsley1, Keith W.T. Goulding2 , Penny Leech2 , Bill Day1; 1Silsoe Res. Inst., Wrest Park, Silsoe, BEDFORD, MK45 4HS, UK. 2Rothamsted Res., HARPENDEN, AL5 2JQ, UK.; EFITA 2003 Conference 5-9. July 2003, Debrecen, Hungary. A model is described that analyses both the economic and long-term environmental performance of whole farms. Farmers' responses to reduced profitability can result in changed cropping that may increase environmental burdens. The cost of compliance with regulations to reduce ammonia emissions varies greatly with soil type and rainfall.

An Assessment of the Economics of Adopting Stewardship Practices in Livestock Production, in Response to Environmental and Societal Concerns [657 KB pdf] (August 2003)- Prepared under the direction of the Expert Committee on Manure Management (ECMM) and Policy Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada By: The Thomsen Corp., Ottawa, ON  - This report is a review of current literature pertaining to measurement of the economic value of benefits and costs to Canadian society from livestock production and related activity.

Who Will Pay for On-Farm Environmental Improvements in the 21st Century? Andy Clark, Stuart Gagnon, Mary Gold, Joseph Makuch, Roberta Rand, Susan Wilzer, National Agric. Library, USDA-ARS, 10301 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705-2351 - This resource guide was assembled by a group of National Agricultural Library (NAL) staff for distribution at the symposium " Who Will Pay for On-Farm Environmental Improvements in the 21st Century?" held April 12, 2000 at NAL in Beltsville, Maryland.

Review of Recent UK and European Research Regarding Reduction, Regulation and Control of the Environmental Impacts of Agriculture.  R. Birnie, P. Dennis, S. Dunn, A. Edwards, P. Horne, G. Hill, P. Hulme, E. Paterson, S. Langan and G. Wynn. This project relates to the commitment made by the Scottish Executive in the document, A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture "to examine the environmental issues which will impact on farming and food processing businesses over the next 5-10 years" - series of PDF summaries and fact sheets FULL REPORT [502 KB pdf].




Bruce T. Bowman, Archivist
Last Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2018 01:11:47 PM