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Role of Livestock and Agriculturesystem in Low Carbon Economy

Role of Livestock and Agriculturesystem in Low Carbon Economy

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Published by: kellykat64 on Jun 17, 2008
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06/14/2009

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A Review on Role of livestock and agriculture production system in Low-carbon economy
Dr.Kedar Karki. M.V.St.Preventive veterinary medicine, Senior VeterinaryOfficer, Central veterinary laboratory Tripureshwor, Kthmandu, 4261938,(office), 9841258735, (Mobile)drkedar_karki@yahoo.com 
Abstract:
 A Low-Carbon Economy is a popular term that refers to an Economy which hasa minimal output of Greenhouse Gasemissions into thebiosphere, but specifically refers to the greenhouse gasCarbon Dioxide. Recently, most of scientific and public opinion has come to the conclusion there is anunreasonable accumulation of Greenhouse Gases(especially CO2) in ouatmosphere; our species is to blame for this accumulation, and the over-concentrations of these gases will fundamentally change our climatedangerously in the foreseeable future. Globally implemented Low-CarbonEconomy's therefore, are proposed as a means to avoid catastrophic climatechange, and as a precursor to an ideal zero-carbon economy.
Key Word
Low-Carbon Economy,
,
 
, PrimarySector,
Crops,
Glasshouse crops, Irrigated arable crops,
Livestock,
 
,
General Background:
Nuclear Power, or, the proposed strategies of Carbon capture and storagehave been proposed as the primary means to achieve a
Low-Carbon Economy 
whilecontinuing to exploit non-renewable resources; there is concern, however, withthe matter of spent-nuclear-fuel storage, and the uncertainty of costs and timeneeded to successfully implementCarbon capture and storageworldwide andwith guarantees that the stored emissions will not leak into thebiosphere.Alternatively, many have proposedrenewable energyshould be the main basisof a
Low-Carbon Economy 
, but, they have their associated problems of high-cost and inefficiency; this is changing, however, since investment andproduction have been growing significantly in recenttimes(http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories). Furthermore, regardless of theeffect to thebiosphereby
emissions, the growing issue of peak oilmay also be reason enough for a transition to a
Low-Carbon Economy 
.The aim of a
Low-Carbon Economy 
is to integrate all aspects of itself from itsmanufacturing, agriculture, transportation and power-generation etc. aroundtechnologies that produce energy and materials with little GHG emission; andthus, around populations, buildings, machines and devices which use those
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energies and materials efficiently, and, dispose of or recycle its wastes so as tohave a minimal output of 
Gasses
. Furthermore, it has been proposed that tomake the transition to an
Low-Carbon Economy 
economically viable we wouldhave to attribute a cost (per unit output) to
through meanssuch asemissions tradingand/or acarbon tax.
Primary Sector involved in manipulation of Carbon economy:
 
Agriculture
 Foodstuffs should be produced as close as possible to the final consumers(preferably within walking/cycling distance). This will reduce the amount of carbon-based energy necessary to transport the foodstuffs. Consumers can alsobuy fresh food rather than processed food, since carbon-based energy might beused to process the food. Cooking presents another opportunity to conserveenergy. Energy could be saved if farmers produced more foods that peoplewould eat raw.Also, most of the agricultural facilities in the developed world are mechanizeddue to rural electrification. Rural electrification has produced significantproductivity gains, but it also uses a lot of energy. For this and other reasons(such as transport costs) in the low-carbon, rural areas will rely heavily onlocally and renewably produced electricity.Irrigation can be one of the main components of an agricultural facility's energyconsumption. In parts of California it can be up to 90%
(
http://www.fypower.org/agri).In the low carbon economy, irrigationequipment will be maintained and continually updated and farms will use lessirrigation water. 
Crops
Different crops require different amounts of energy input. For example,glasshouse crops, irrigated crops, and orchards require a lot of energy tomaintain, while row crops and field crops don’t need as much maintenance.Those glasshouse and irrigated crops that do exist will incorporate thefollowing improvements (http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/climate/policies-initiatives/energy-pilot-scheme.html)
Glasshouse crops:
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environmental control systems
heat recovery using condensers
heat storage using buffer tanks
heat retention using thermal screens
alternative fuels (e.g. waste wood)
cogeneration (heat and power)
Irrigated arable crops:
soil moisture measurement to regulate irrigation
variable speed drives on pumps 
Livestock
Livestock operations can also use a lot of energy depending on how they arerun. Feed lots use animal feed made from corn, soybeans, and other crops.Energy must be expended to produce these crops, process and transport them.Free-range animals find their own vegetation to feed on. The farmer mayexpend energy to take care of that vegetation, but not nearly as much as thefarmer who grows cereal and oil-seed crops.Many livestock operations currently use a lot of energy to water their livestock.In the low-carbon economy, such operations will use more water conservationmethods such as rainwater collection, water cisterns, etc and they will alsopump/distribute that water with on-site renewable energy sources (most likelywind and solar).Due to rural electrification, most agricultural facilities in thedeveloped world use a lot of electricity. In a low-carbon economy, farms will berun and equipped to allow for greater energy efficiency. The dairy industry, forexample, will incorporate the following changes:(http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/climate/policies-initiatives/energy-pilot-scheme.html)
Irrigated Dairy
heat recovery on milk vats
variable speed drives on motors/pumps
heat recovery from hot water wash
soil moisture measurement to regulate irrigation
bio digester with cogen (heat & power)
vat wrap
solar water heating
ripple control
ice bank
chemical substitute for hot water wash
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