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Mitigating environmental externalities in livestock production through feed biotechnologies


  • Kaufman, James
  • Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas G.


New low phytate crop varieties have been heralded for their potential to assist animal producers manage phosphorus (P) as both an input cost and as an environmental externality. This paper investigates the economic viability of such biotechnologies under regulations that attempt to minimize fecal P pollution by limiting land application of manure. Such restrictions often require animal feeding operations to spread manure over larger areas, thus increasing cost. To assess the economics of P mitigation, the production, handling, spreading, and vegetative uptake of manure nutrients for a variety of livestock growing operations was simulated. The simulation concludes that low phytate crops can be effective at mitigating P in situations where manure spreading geography is significantly restricted. However, alternative technologies such as phytase appear to offer a lower cost mechanism for mitigating P in most situations.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaufman, James & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas G., 2011. "Mitigating environmental externalities in livestock production through feed biotechnologies," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(9), pages 770-780.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:104:y:2011:i:9:p:770-780 DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2011.07.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gollehon, Noel R. & Caswell, Margriet & Ribaudo, Marc & Kellogg, Robert L. & Lander, Charles & Letson, David, 2000. "Confined Animal Production And Manure Nutrients," 2000 Annual Meeting, June 29-July 1, 2000, Vancouver, British Columbia 36382, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Ribaudo, Marc & Kaplan, Jonathan D. & Christensen, Lee A. & Gollehon, Noel R. & Johansson, Robert C. & Breneman, Vincent E. & Aillery, Marcel P. & Agapoff, Jean & Peters, Mark, 2003. "Manure Management For Water Quality Costs To Animal Feeding Operations Of Applying Manure Nutrients To Land," Agricultural Economics Reports 33911, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Ronald A. Fleming & Bruce Babcock & Erda Wang, 1998. "Resource or Waste? The Economics of Swine Manure Storage and Management," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 96-113.
    4. Bosch, Darrell J. & Zhu, Minkang & Kornegay, Ervin T., 1997. "Economic Returns From Reducing Poultry Litter Phosphorus With Microbial Phytase," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(02), December.
    5. Jonathan D. Kaplan & Robert C. Johansson & Mark Peters, 2004. "The Manure Hits the Land: Economic and Environmental Implications When Land Application of Nutrients Is Constrained," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 688-700.
    6. William F. Lazarus & Robert G. Koehler, 2002. "The Economics of Applying Nutrient-Dense Livestock Waste at Low Rates," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 24(1), pages 141-159.
    7. Yap, Crystal & Foster, Kenneth A. & Preckel, Paul V. & Doering, Otto C., III & Richert, Brian T., 2004. "Mitigating the Compliance Cost of a Phosphorus-Based Swine Manure Management Policy," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(01), April.
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