Are there recommended proxies for feed ingredients not found in FARM ES?

Evaluators are encouraged to select feed ingredient proxies when appropriate. The following table summarizes recommendations based on questions received to-date:

Feed Ingredient FARM ES Proxy
Earlage                       Corn silage
High-moisture corn Corn Grain
Rye hay                       Grass hay
Rye silage                   Grass silage
Snaplage                     Corn silage
Sorghum Sudan        Other
Soybean hulls            Other

A farm has complete protein mix that is made up of multiple components, but they don’t have the breakdown of the ingredients, so they used the “All Other Feed” category for most of their ration. Is that the best solution for FARM ES today?

There are many farms that need to use the ‘all other feed’ category quite heavily. It can be difficult to know the ingredient breakdown for protein mixes. One could consider checking whether the farm can get an ingredient breakdown for the protein mix. That would make the results of FARM ES much more accurate.

If it’s not possible to find out the ingredient breakdown, then enter the data as given into FARM ES. There is a question that will pop up in the evaluation “To help FARM ES improve, please provide a little information about what is included in the ‘All Other Feed’ category for the farm’s lactating cow ration:”. Enter that it is a complete protein mix. The response will go into an anonymized dataset for researchers to inform improvement over time.

How are the feed production emissions calculated based on the ration breakdown?

The “Feed Emissions” category uses emissions factors developed following LCA methods (described in this paper). The emissions factors take into account USDA data on typical production practices by region. The amount of each ration ingredient is multiplied by the applicable emissions factor to generate the emissions footprint.

How are emissions from cow rations for byproducts like almond hulls considered in the model?

Most byproduct feed ingredients are not separately accounted for in FARM ES. They should be categorized under “all other feed”. The 11 primary feed types included in FARM ES made up 82% of the feed emissions in the original LCA research – so that’s why the model focuses efforts there. The supplementary material in these two papers gives more info about the assumed rations by region in the LCA research ( and

Work is underway to include certain byproduct feeds in Version 3 of FARM ES.