LCA Feed databases: what are the differences?

LCA Feed databases: what are the differences?

Agri-footprint, EC Feed LCI database, GFLI database and Feedprint NL/International

We develop several LCA databases on feed ingredients and regularly receive questions from companies, industry associations and other organisations about the differences between these databases. Here we tell you more about these databases and highlight the differences. The databases are:

  • Agri-footprint 4.0
  • EC Feed Database
  • Global Feed LCA Institute (GFLI) database
  • Feedprint NL 2.0
  • Feedprint International

Overview of the databases

In most cases the foreground/activity data (specific data that defines a production system) in these databases is the same, but they differ in scope and the calculation methods used.
Feedprint NL 2.0: Feedprint 2.0 is an update of the first Feedprint version, which was released in 2013. The scope of this interactive tool is feed ingredients that are available on the Dutch market, covering 274 different feed products in total. The information on each raw material includes market mix data, with cultivation data from 60 different countries. Nevedi, the Dutch feed industry association, shares the impact data generated from the Feedprint LCI data to companies in a separate list. This Nevedi list is updated in response to questions from feed companies on missing ingredients and is growing rapidly. At some point these data will be implemented as an updated list in Feedprint.
Feedprint International: This is the international version of Feedprint NL. It is very similar to Feedprint NL, but has the European Union market as scope. It contains 134 products, each containing their own mixes and multiple cultivation data. The number of products is lower than in Feedprint NL, since specific Dutch feed materials, roughage and grasses are excluded from the international database.

Main differences between the databases

The method of collecting activity data (e.g. yield, NPK and water use) is very similar for each of the databases. The main differences are in scope, system boundaries, background data, activity data collection, energy use modelling, pesticides modelling and crop residues modelling. .

  • Background data: the same background data (ELCD, USLCI and Agri-footprint) are used in all the databases except the EC Feed database, which uses PEF compliant background datasets on energy and fertiliser production.
  • Energy use at cultivation stage: Agri-footprint, EC Feed database and the GFLI database use the MEBOT database as the main source for energy use on farm. Feedprint NL and International use a new energy model, the ‘Energy model for crop cultivations’ developed in co-operation between Wageningen University and Blonk Consultants. The model uses the most recent specific indicators, such as yield, mechanisation factors and irrigation, to determine the energy use at cultivation stage more accurately.
  • Activity data collection for cultivation: for most cultivations the activity data collection is very similar (yield, NPK, water use, etc.). For the United States and Canada, cultivation data are collected on state or province level. Emission modelling is the same for all cultivations.
  • Pesticide data: In both Feedprint databases the inventoried datasets on pesticides are aggregated into active ingredients because toxicity related impacts are outside the scope of this database. Therefore, there might be small deviations in the environmental impact of pesticide production between the Feedprint and the other databases.
  • Crop residues: For all databases the amount of ‘Above Ground Dry Matter’ (AGDM) in crop residues is calculated using IPCC defaults. However, in Feedprint the AGDM is corrected by the removal of the co-product. A similar approach will be used in Agri-footprint 5.0.

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More information
Agri-footprint 4.0Agri-footprint 5.0 1EC Feed DatabaseGFLIFeedprint NL 2.0Feedprint International
Background datasetsAFP (+ELCD and USLCI)AFP (+ELCD and USLCI)PEF compliantAFP (+ELCD and USLCI)AFP (+ELCD and USLCI)AFP (+ELCD and USLCI)
System boundariesCradle-to-gateCradle-to-marketCradle-to-gateCradle-to-gateCradle-to-animalCradle-to-compound plant
Activity data cultivationsSame sources for all, except USSame sources for all, except USSame sources for all cultivationsSame sources for all, except US and CanadaSame sources for all, except US and CanadaSame sources for all, except US and Canada
Market mix processed productsOnly for NL "at compound plant/NL"For NL, Europe(RER) and US, "at regional storage"Only for product groupsOnly for product groupsFor all productsFor all products
(Delivered) datasets2918 LCI's3755 LCI's760 products962 products274 products134 products
Energy use cultivationMEBOTEnergy model for crop cultivationsMEBOTMEBOT (Canada = study)Energy model for crop cultivationsEnergy model for crop cultivations
PesticidesSpecificPesticide modelSpecificSpecificAggregatedAggregated
Crop residuesNot correctedCorrectedNot correctedOnly Canada correctedCorrectedCorrected
AvailabilitySimaPro and openLCA (licences needed)Expected in 2019 for SimaPro and openLCA (licences needed)Only to be used for PEF related studiesFreely available 2Freely availableFreely available
FormatLCA software, ExcelLCA software, ExcelLCA softwareLCA software, ExcelOnline toolOnline tool
More informationwww.agri-footprint.comwww.agri-footprint.comMethodology reportGFLI databaseFeedprint NL - online toolFeedprint International - online tool
1 Agri-footprint 5.0: available in Q3 2019

2 The GFLI databases are only freely available in "system process format" . The more detailed "unit process" format is only available for GFLI members. Inventory results for both types of process formats are the same.

More information

If you have questions about the databases,
please send an e-mail to Mike van Paassen or call +31 (0)182 579970.