Showing results for: Grazing and grassland
This commentary published in Science Letters, discusses new data recently released by FAO’s statistical division, and makes the case that the current large-scale reversion in pasture area is opening up a potential conservation opportunity. Author and FCRN member Joseph Poore argues that as grazing of land has become more intensive globally, we are seeing ruminant outputs increasing while large agricultural areas are being abandoned, and he argues that this offers a new opportunity for land-sparing conservation.
This very useful paper focuses on Brazilian beef production in the Cerrado grasslands region of Brazil makes an important contribution to the on-going debate about the merits of different livestock production systems, and of different consumption patterns.
In this paper, researchers from universities in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, the UK and Germany investigate the potential for feeding livestock on less food-competitive feedstuffs (FCF – that is, animal feed derived from fewer human edible food sources) to reduce the negative environmental impacts of livestock farming.
In this paper, researchers from a number of UK and US research institutions explore the potential for land sparing as a greenhouse gas (GHG) offsetting strategy – that is, by increasing crop and livestock yields so as to enable agricultural land to be freed up and used for habitat restoration (for example) an enable carbon sequestration.
The Sustainable Food Trust recently held an event to discuss the question: ‘What role for grazing livestock in a world of climate change and diet-related disease?’
This study argues that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings. It looks at three models used by U.S. and European agencies, and finds that all three estimate that some of the crops diverted from food to biofuels are not replaced by planting crops elsewhere. About 20 to 50 percent of the net calories diverted to make ethanol are not replaced through the planting of additional crops.
An article from Science Daily reports on how scientists, advisors and communications specialists have come together to examine whether beef production can help restore ecosystems. They have started to examine the adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing management technique: this involves using small-sized fields to provide short periods of grazing for livestock and long recovery periods for fields.
In a debate between George Monbiot and L hunter Lovins in The Guardian, the issue of impacts and evidence of livestock grazing is discussed. Monbiots article “Eat more meat and save the world: the latest implausible farming miracle” can be found here while L. Hunter Lovins’ article “Why George Monbiot is wrong: grazing livestock can save the world” can be read here.
The International Dairy Federation (IDF), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the IFCN Dairy Research Network (IFCN) have collaborated on an extensive study on international dairy feeding systems to explore how differences within these systems for dairy cows, water buffaloes, sheep, and goats and between large and smallholders can affect a range of issues - from the nutritional content of the milk to the level of GHG emissions involved in the production process. Each of the three organizations had differing stakes in the research.
Despite a focus on reducing fossil fuel consumption, cuts in these emissions by themselves will not sufficiently address climate change.
This comparative five year study on grasslands suggests that allowing grazing animals to crop the excess growth of of grasses that, due to fertization, grow too vigorously, can counteract the threats these grasses present to the other plants that contribute to the biodiversity of native prairies.
Brighter Green has released a policy paper exploring the growth of industrial dairy systems in India, China, and countries of Southeast Asia. It explores the trend toward increased dairy consumption and production and argues that the growth of industrial systems results in severe consequences for the environment, public health, animal welfare, and rural economies. The report examines systemic changes in Asia while also providing country-specific case study analyses of Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
New evidence suggests that a chemical mechanism operating in the roots of a tropical grass used for livestock feed holds enormous promise for reducing the emission of nitrous oxide. N2O is the most harmful of the warming gases, with a global warming potential 296 times that of carbon dioxide. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the livestock sector accounts for 65 percent of the nitrous oxide emitted.
This publication by FAO examines how fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW) could be used as livestock feed. The demand for livestock products is rapidly increasing in most developing countries but in many cases there are severe feed deficits. The sustainability of feed production systems is being challenged due to biophysical factors such as land, soil and water scarcity, food-fuel-feed competition, ongoing global warming and frequent and drastic weather events, along with increased competition for arable land and non-renewable resources such as fossil carbon-sources, water and phosphorus.