Researcher Judd Capper Extols Shrinking Beef Carbon Foot Print- To Address International Livestock Congress in DenverSun, 08 Jan 2012 15:28:59 CST
The nation's cowherd has been shrinking dramatically in recent years, but the beef industry as a whole is producing more beef from fewer animals, yielding important environmental benefits, according to a Washington State University researcher.
Even with 30 percent fewer animals, the U.S. beef industry produced 13 percent more total beef in 2007 when compared to 1997.
That means raising a pound of beef in the U.S. today uses significantly fewer natural resources, including land, water, feed and fuel, than in the past, according to Jude Capper. Capper will kick off the International Livestock Congress Tuesday, Jan. 10, with a presentation at the Renaissance Hotel, 3801 Quebec St., in Denver.
We talked about research that was pubhlished last month by Capper on the Beef Buzz for Friday, January 6, 2012. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear that recounting of some of the key points her research as published in the Journal of Animal Science.
At the International Livestock Congress, Capper will lead off a full day of speakers discussing sustainability, international trade, Latin American beef production and technological advances in the beef industry.
Beef production is often bashed as a source of greenhouse gas emissions, fueling gimmicks like Meatless Mondays. But Capper counters the beef backlash with favorable facts. Strides in production efficiency offer good news that hasn't received the coverage it deserves, she says.
Each pound of beef raised in 2007 used 33 percent less land, 12 percent less water, 19 percent less feed and 9 percent less fossil fuel energy than equivalent beef production in 1977, her study concluded. Waste outputs were similarly reduced, shrinking the carbon footprint of beef production by 16.3 percent over 30 years.
"As we work on solutions for the future, it is important to understand how far the U.S. livestock industry has come in reducing its environmental footprint in the recent past and how this significant reduction was achieved," she said. "The facts are in. Improved cattle diets in the feedyard and responsible use of science-based technologies to improve the ability of cattle to convert feed to pounds of beef, reduces the amount of land, water and fossil fuels it takes to raise beef."
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the listen bar below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News