Ferguson, James

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Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Food Recovery Hierarchy: Quantifying Food Recovery for the End Users
    (2014-12-09) Ferguson, James
    Municipal landfills received 36.4 million tons of food waste in 2012, representing 14.5% of all municipal waste. Looking ahead to 2050 when the world population will exceed 9 billion people, the needed increase in food supply may exceed 70% of current supply. Reducing food waste could provide a significant buffer to help with world food supply. In addition, disposal of food waste to landfills is not a sustainable means of disposal. A priority in reducing food waste is diverting edible food to food banks and other institutions which can utilize edible food. However, for food not acceptable for humans and inedible residues may be effectively used as animal feed. Currently the US produces about 375 billion pounds of animal feed annually for pets, livestock, horses, and fish. About 25% of animal feed is derived from by-products of the oil, milling, rendering, and processing industries. A further hidden source of animal feed includes food refusals for shelf-life, packaging errors, blemishes, and other reasons. The food manufacturing sector reports it diverts about 30.6 billion pounds or 70% of total food waste to animal feed. The retail and wholesale industries divert about 14% of food waste or 0.53 billion pounds of food waste to animal feed. Significant barriers exist to using more food waste as animal feed. Barriers exist on the food manufacturing supply side and also on the nutritionist end user side of the relationship. Logistics of collection, transport, and storage create problems for both supplier and user as food waste contain a high water percentage and have poor stability, degrading easily with prolonged unrefrigerated storage. Regulations for food safety mandate only certain food items may be fed to certain animal species and specify heating requirements for safety. Nutritional variability and variability of supply make it difficult to use on a routine basis in many farm situations. Collection and processing prior to farm delivery would mediate much of the variability of nutrient content and supply, but would require an intermediate handling and processing facility to make more available as animal feeds.
  • Publication
    Assessing U.S. Food Wastage and Opportunities for Reduction
    (2016-03-01) Dou, Zhengxia; Ferguson, James D; Galligan, David T; Kelly, Alan M; Finn, Steven M; Giegengack, Robert
    Reducing food wastage is one of the key strategies to combat hunger and sustainably feed the world. We present a comprehensive analysis of available data, despite uncertainties due to data limitation, indicating that the U.S. loses at least 150 million metric tonnes (MMT) of food between farm and fork annually, of which about 70 MMT is edible food loss. Currently, <2% of the edible food loss is recovered for human consumption. A reasonably-attainable goal of food waste reduction at the source by 20% would save more food than the annual increase in total food production and would feed millions of people. This is an opportunity of significant magnitude, offering food security and resource and environmental benefits with few negatives. Seizing this opportunity requires technological innovation, policy intervention, and public outreach. This U.S.-based analysis is pertinent to other mid- to high-income countries.
  • Publication
    An Assessment of Ammonia Emissions from Dairy Facilities in Pennsylvania
    (2001-01-01) Ferguson, James D; Dou, Zhengxia; Ramberg, Charles F
    A survey of 715 Holstein dairy farms in Pennsylvania was used to construct demographics for the average Holstein dairy farm. The average Holstein dairy farm was composed of 69 lactating cows; 11 nonlactating, pregnant cows; 44 heifers; and 18 calves. Milk production averaged 27.3 kg (60.0 lb). Crop area averaged 73.6 ha. Milk production, crop area and type, average county yields, and herd animal groups were used to construct a typical feeding program for these farms. Typical rations were constructed for six feeding groups (three milk production groups, one nonlactating group, two heifer groups) to meet milk production, pregnancy, and growth requirements. Rations were constructed based on three forage qualities (excellent, average, and poor) typically observed on Pennsylvania dairy farms. Data for animal description (milk production, body weight, growth, and pregnancy status) and ration components and amounts consumed for each animal group were input into the excretion model of the Dairy Nutrient Planner computer program (DNP). Excretion of fecal N and dry matter (DM), urinary N, and total P and K were produced for each animal group and used to assess potential volatile losses of N. Work at the Marshak Dairy, New Bolton Center, indicates the majority of urinary N is rapidly lost as ammonia from dairy facilities. Based on this observation, the losses of N as ammonia were estimated to be 4.63, 4.62, and 4.28 tonne/year for the farm with excellent, average, and poor quality forages, respectively. Volatile losses of N may be reduced most by controlling levels of urea in urine. Urinary N may be reduced through dietary manipulation of protein and carbohydrate sources. Conversion of urea to ammonia may be reduced by altering the pH of barn floors and gutters. Entrapment of ammonia may be accomplished by acidification of manure slurry. Atmospheric ammonia contributes to acid rain, eutrophication of estuaries and lakes, and particulate air pollution. Reduction of ammonia emissions from dairy barns can significantly reduce atmospheric pollution and improve air and water quality.