Photo: Danish Agriculture & Food Council

New climate gains for Danish pig production

A climate tool is helping to pave the way for more sustainable pig production. By calculating the carbon footprint of pig feed, the tool helps pig producers reduce CO2 emissions from production.

The Danish food cluster has a target to be climate neutral by 2050, which requires ambitious and specific climate initiatives on the part of the agricultural sector. Pig feed is a key focus area, which is where a new method for calculating its carbon footprint comes into play. The tool calculates the CO2 footprint from feed that pig producers have mixed themselves.

Feed component table measures nutritional content, carbon footprint and the economics of pig feed
The new climate tool is an addition to the existing tool, the feed component table, which puts together the optimum feed for pig herds in terms of nutritional content and economic benefit. The new tool makes it possible to adjust each component so that the feed is more climate friendly. The climate gains result in more sustainable production as the carbon reduction in the feed does not compromise on productivity and economy.

The Danish pig sector is actively engaged in making production even more sustainable, climate-friendly and competitive internationally.

Read Also: New climate-measuring device in the pipeline

Danish pigs fed responsible soya and green protein
Focus on pig feed has been ongoing over the past few years. The most widespread source of protein in feed for finishers is soya. Last year, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council entered into an industry agreement with Danish pig producers on the use of responsible, verified and certified soya. Research has also been carried out into Danish-produced alternatives in the form of grass protein, rapeseed cakes and broad beans as a replacement for some of the soya in pig feed. These green protein alternatives are grown in Denmark and are included in the new feed component table.

Read also: The taste of sustainable pork

Technology and breeding contribute to sustainable and higher feed conversion in pig production
The updated calculation tool is another step towards sustainable Danish pig meat production. The combination of feed technology and sustainability through breeding will result in even more improvements in terms of producing pigs that grow as desired but with less feed consumption.

Read also: Biofilters to reduce climate impact from pigs

SEGES regularly updates its feed component table for Danish pig producers. The table now includes the carbon footprint from various feed components so that it is easy for producers to see the footprint from each one. The data comes from the GFLI feed database (Global Feed LCA Institute) from the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) supplemented by transport and handling data.
The feed industry in Denmark also ensures that the way in which the carbon footprint is calculated is consistent, with the GFLI as the preferred method.
Pig feed for Danish pigs primarily comprises barley, wheat and soya protein.