Sonja Brodt, academic coordinator in the UC ANR Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, and Elias Marvinney, a graduate student in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, hosted a webinar on July 29 to discuss their life cycle assessment analyzing the environmental impacts associated with walnuts, prunes, peaches, almonds and pistachios. The researchers are quantifying energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in orchard crop production both on the farm and beyond.
Research by the UC Davis and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources scientists found that almonds have a relatively small carbon footprint and could become carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative, largely through incorporating orchard biomass into the soil or using the biomass, hulls and shells for renewable power generation and dairy feed.
To watch a free recording of the Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy Use in California Orchard Crops webinar, go to http://bit.ly/1ITIbKr.
Brodt and Marvinney co-authored two related articles published in the current issue of Journal of Industrial Ecology examining the environmental impact of the almond industry.
The first article, "Life Cycle-based Assessment of Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Almond Production, Part I: Analytical Framework and Baseline Results," is authored by Alissa Kendall, an associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Marvinney, Brodt and Weiyuan Zhu, a UC Davis graduate student in horticulture and agronomy.
Marvinney is lead author of the second article, "Life Cycle-based Assessment of Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Almond Production, Part II: Uncertainty Analysis through Sensitivity Analysis and Scenario Testing," in collaboration with Kendall and Brodt.
This research was supported by grants from the Almond Board of California and the CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.