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Desk study to review literature on carbon and nitrogen efficiencies in venison production - IS0202

Description
The objective of this desk study is to undertake a literature review to assess the environmental impact of venison production in relation to the utilisation of nitrogen and carbon inputs. Where appropriate, the literature from other red meat production systems will be used to complement and help to define the environmental impact in venison systems. Existing gaps in knowledge will be highlighted and will help to guide future research and lead to a more sustainable development of deer farming.

Venison production portrays a ‘healthy’ image linked with its extensive systems of production and the substantially lower fat levels of the meat. However technical knowledge, particularly with regard to environmental aspects, is lagging behind that of sheep and beef. It is important therefore that this aspect is investigated and sustainable systems developed to move the deer industry into the environmental demands of the 21st century.

The desk study will review and summarise the relevant data and literature on basic inputs and outputs of deer production systems. In particular, the utilisation efficiency of carbon and nitrogen inputs will be the central focus of the review, and information from other red meat species will also be considered to complement that from deer. The literature review will seek to highlight gaps in knowledge when assessing the environmental impact of producing a kilogram of venison, and various experimental strategies for future research will be proposed to provide better estimates of nitrogen and carbon balances in venison production systems. Such research will need to consider how the important parameters will be monitored and this study will attempt to evaluate existing methodologies that could be applied to deer, but also identify where new or existing techniques may have to be developed through pilot studies. Staff at IGER and MLURI will be consulted as appropriate both in relation to gaseous emission methodologies as well as assessing the likely impact of newer forage crop species and varieties emerging from current breeding and evaluation programmes.

The ultimate output in any future research project might be some aspect of Life Cycle Analysis for venison production, and this review will seek to clarify how this might be done and identify the scope of such an analysis. An indication will also be given of what effect modifying existing venison production systems might have on environmental impact, and what effect an increasing emphasis on venison production, at the expense of cattle and/or sheep, might have in the UK. Initial findings will be discussed with the BDFA and an article will be published in ‘Deer Farming’. A conference paper will be produced for the Sixth International Deer Congress.
Objective

1. To undertake a literature review to assess the environmental impact of venison production in relation to the utilisation of nitrogen and carbon. Where appropriate, the literature from other red meat production systems will be used to complement and help to define the environmental impact in venison systems.

2. To highlight existing gaps in knowledge to guide future research and lead to a more sustainable development of deer farming.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Desk study to review literature on carbon and nitrogen efficiencies in venison production   (133k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2003

Cost: £22,711
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
Agri-Environment              
Ammonia              
Animal Production              
Deer              
Farming              
Livestock Farming              
Nitrate              
Nitrates              
Sustainable Production