Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Methane Production in Grazing Beef Systems
Weekly, Paul Beck, beef cattle nutrition specialist at Oklahoma State University, offers his expertise in the cattle industry. This is a part of the weekly series known as the "Cow-Calf Corner" published electronically. Today, he talks about methane production in grazing beef systems.

The environmental impact of the beef industry has received increased attention from the public because of perceptions of its effects on climate change. The International Panel on Climate Change estimated that 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions were from agriculture, forestry, and other land uses. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and Ag, Forestry and Other land uses produce about 44% of the methane, with 46% of that coming from ruminant animals.

In the United States, agriculture contributes 9% of the total greenhouse gas emissions with transportation, industry, and electrical sectors producing 79% of total greenhouse gasses. Of the 9% of greenhouse gas emissions attributed to agriculture, 60% is attributed to animal agriculture (5.4% of total emissions) and 60% of that is methane from all ruminant animal agriculture (3.2% of total US emissions).

Life-cycle assessments of the US Beef Industry indicate that the cow-calf and stocker segments of the industry produce 70 to 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the beef sector. This is because 1) cattle consuming a high forage diet have increased methane emissions and 2) brood cows live on pastures continuously and have a single offspring per year.

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Reach Out To Us:
Tim West
President/General Manager
Rural Oklahoma Networks


Mike Henderson
Director of Sales

KC Sheperd
Farm Director
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network


Ron Hays
Senior Farm/Ranch Broadcaster
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network