Assessment of the Contribution of Poultry and Pig Production to Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Korea Over the Last 10 Years (2005 through 2014)

  • Boontiam, Waewaree (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Research Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Shin, Yongjin (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Research Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Choi, Hong Lim (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Research Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kumari, Priyanka (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Research Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2015.09.24
  • Accepted : 2015.12.11
  • Published : 2016.12.01


The goal of this study was to estimate the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), namely methane ($CH_4$), nitrous oxide ($N_2O$), and carbon dioxide ($CO_2$) from poultry and pig production in South Korea over the last 10 years (2005 through 2014). The calculations of GHG emissions were based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines. Over the study period, the $CH_4$ emission from manure management decreased in layer chickens, nursery to finishing pigs and gestating to lactating sows, but there was a gradual increase in $CH_4$ emission from broiler chickens and male breeding pigs. Both sows and nursery to finishing pigs were associated with greater emissions from enteric fermentation than the boars, especially in 2009. Layer chickens produced lower direct and indirect $N_2O$ emissions from 2009 to 2014, whereas the average direct and indirect $N_2O$ emissions from manure management for broiler chickens were 12.48 and $4.93Gg\;CO_2-eq/yr$, respectively. Annual direct and indirect $N_2O$ emissions for broiler chickens tended to decrease in 2014. Average $CO_2$ emission from direct on-farm energy uses for broiler and layer chickens were 46.62 and $136.56Gg\;CO_2-eq/yr$, respectively. For pig sectors, the $N_2O$ emission from direct and indirect sources gradually increased, but they decreased for breeding pigs. Carbon dioxide emission from direct on-farm energy uses reached a maximum of $53.93Gg\;CO_2-eq/yr$ in 2009, but this total gradually declined in 2010 and 2011. For boars, the greatest $CO_2$ emission occurred in 2012 and was $9.44Gg\;CO_2-eq/yr$. Indirect $N_2O$ emission was the largest component of GHG emissions in broilers. In layer chickens, the largest contributing factor to GHG emissions was $CO_2$ from direct on-farm energy uses. For pig production, the largest component of GHG emissions was $CH_4$ from manure management, followed by $CO_2$ emission from direct on-farm energy use and $CH_4$ enteric fermentation emission, which accounted for 8.47, 2.85, and $2.82Gg-CO_2/yr$, respectively. The greatest GHG emission intensity occurred in female breeding sows relative to boars. Overall, it is an important issue for the poultry and pig industry of South Korea to reduce GHG emissions with the effective approaches for the sustainability of agricultural practices.


Supported by : Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (IPET), Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP)


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