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SUSTAINABILITY OF POULTRY PRODUCTION USING THE EMERGY APPROACH: COMPARISON OF CONVENTIONAL AND ORGANIC REARING SYSTEMS

CASTELLINI, Prof C; BASTIANONI, Dr S; GRANAI, Dr C; DAL BOSCO, Dr A and BRUNETTI, Dr M (2006) SUSTAINABILITY OF POULTRY PRODUCTION USING THE EMERGY APPROACH: COMPARISON OF CONVENTIONAL AND ORGANIC REARING SYSTEMS. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 114, pp. 343-350.

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Summary

The organic production system is an important strategy, compatible with sustainable agriculture, avoiding the use of chemical compounds,limiting the intensity of production and providing controls along the entire chain of production. The aim of this study is to compare conventional and organic poultry production in terms of emergy analysis. The main differences in the two systems were the emergy cost for poultry feed and for cleaning/sanitization of the buildings between successive productive cycles. In both production systems the poultry feed represented more than 50% of the emergy flow. Regarding the agronomic phase, it was shown that almost all the organic crops, avoiding
chemical fertilizers and pesticides, saved around 60% emergy. The emergetic costs for housing of the birds were very similar in both systems. Relating the emergy results with productive performance it is possible to show that, although the annual productive performance was much lower in organic than in conventional (206%), transformity of organic poultry was around 10% lower. Comparison of the organic poultry system with a conventional one from the viewpoint of sustainability showed that all the emergy-based indicators are in favour of the organic farming system with a higher efficiency in transforming the available inputs in the final product, a higher level of renewable inputs, a higher level of local inputs and a lower density of energy and matter flows.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Poultry production; Organic farming system; Emergy
Subjects: Environmental aspects
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry > Production systems
Research affiliation: Italy > Univ. Perugia
Deposited By: Castellini, Prof. C.
ID Code:9317
Deposited On:02 Oct 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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