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Life Cycle Assessment

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) collection is a catalog and archive of data, tools, and resources that support LCA for agriculture and related areas of research. It is complementary to the USDA LCA Commons Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database, and provides access to a wider range LCA data and tools.

Life Cycle Assessment (also known as life cycle analysis, or cradle-to-grave analysis) is a method of assessing environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product's life. For example, it measures impact from raw material extraction to materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling. The goal of LCA is to compare the full range of environmental effects assignable to products and services by quantifying all inputs and outputs of material flows, and then assessing how these material flows impact the environment. This information is used to improve processes, support policy, and provide a sound basis for informed decisions.

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Datasets

22 datasets

Data from: Environmental footprints of beef cattle production in the United States

    To quantify important environmental impacts of beef cattle production in the United States, surveys and visits of farms, ranches and feedlots were conducted throughout seven regions (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northern Plains, Southern Plains, Northwest and Southwest). Life cycle environmental impacts of U.S. beef cattle production were determined. Annual carbon emission was 243 ± 26 Tg CO2e (21.3 ± 2.3 kg CO2e/kg carcass weight). Annual fossil energy use was 569 ± 53 PJ (50.0 ± 4.7 MJ/kg carcass weight). Blue water consumption was 23.2 ± 3.5 TL (2034 ± 309 L/kg carcass weight). Reactive nitrogen loss was 1760 ± 136 Gg N (155 ± 12 g N/kg carcass weight).

    Unit process data for Rapeseed production in the U.S. wheat belt

      Unit processes represent wheat-wheat-fallow and wheat-wheat-rapeseed crop production simulations that illustrate using the IPCC (Tier 1) method for calculating changes in soil C and the roundtable on sustainable biomaterials (RSB) method for estimating N2O emissions in different locations for the use in modeling the crop production portion of the HRJ lifecycle. Data are archived in a SimaPro .csv file, which can be imported into various life cycle assessment modeling tools.

      LCA Commons

        The USDA Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Commons provides access to data, tools, and resources that support life cycle assessment for U.S. agricultural production and agriculturally derived products.

        Unit process data for field crop production version 1

          These unit process models represent crop production in US states in multiple years. The main data source used for the development of the field crop data described here is the annual USDA Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). ARMS data are from an annual national survey of field-level farm practices sponsored jointly by USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). These datasets were released in ecospold version 1 in June 2012.

          Unit process data for field crop production version 2

            The goals for the release of Version 2 of the field crop data are to rework the data to link up with the tier 2 field operations/ work process datasets, eliminate the use of service processes, and rework balance parameters using a simpler formula. Models represent states that produced field crops in the ARMS survey years included.

            Unit process data for agricultural self-propelled equipment version 1

              This document describes the preparation of datasets for the LCA Digital Commons that represent unit process/ gate-to-gate operations for the production of work (in MJ) by agricultural self-propelled equipment and fleets of agricultural self-propelled equipment. The data cover 19 types of fleets and over 200 types of self-propelled equipment datasets, representing the potential to prepare thousands of unit-process datasets by varying the operating and model years, applicable power ranges, and operating temperatures.