What is a
NPB Pig Production Environmental Calculator
A land footprint is the amount of land that is used during creation or development of a product and is based off of real land
use. This means that it only accounts for the acres used and not for the gases emitted from the process or activities.
Emitted gases are accounted for in the process or product’s “carbon footprint”.
A land footprint can be calculated for a barn, home, business, region, or even a nation. In one single operation, land is
used for numerous tasks. For instance, in a cattle operation, land is used for grazing, feedlot finishing, grain and forage
Abigail Repenning, Agricultural Engineering Student, South Dakota State University
Tia Muller, Agricultural Engineering Student, South Dakota State University
Ashley Schmit, Animal Science Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Amy Millmier Schmidt, Livestock Bioenvironmental Engineer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Erin Cortus, Agricultural Engineer, South Dakota State University
Richard Stowell, Livestock Housing Engineer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator
was developed with grant support (#2011-68002-30208)
from the USDA National Institute of Food and
How can I use this information?
The National Pork Board’s Pig Production Environmental Footprint
Calculator can be used to estimate the land footprint of swine
facilities. The calculator accounts for feed produced and used in the
swine system in order to estimate the facility’s land footprint.
Individual feed ingredients must be entered into the calculator as each
ingredient has unique inputs that dictate the land footprint
associated with that specific ingredient.. The calculator returns a cumula-
tive value for total ponds of each feed ingredient utilized per year, acres
required per pound of ingredient produced, and total acres used for the
volume of each ingredient used in the system. Likewise, a cumulative
value for total pounds of dry feed utilized per year and total acres used to
produce all feed ingredients for the farm.
An important value of the land footprint component of the Pig Production
Environmental Footprint Calculator is in the user’s ability to understand
the impact of each individual feed ingredient on the system’s land
footprint. Likewise, the calculator can be very effective as a tool for
determining how a producer might positively impact the operation’s land
footprint as it allows the user to make changes to the feed ingredients in
the calculator and see how the changes could impact the land footprint of
Environmental footprints are becoming a popular metric by which to judge the sustainability of a process, product, or system. As the
world population continues to increase, the agricultural industry must adapt and improve to efficiently address food security
concerns. The Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator is designed to assist swine operations in understanding and
managing their environmental footprint. While total agricultural production will need to increase to provide food for a growing
population, improved efficiencies in production practices will continue to evolve to minimize the environmental footprints of individual
practices and cumulative systems. The Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator and similar tools for calculating the
environmental footprints of other production systems will be invaluable in helping producers improve production efficiencies while
simultaneously having a positive impact on the sustainability of their practices.