Modern Beef Production- Good for the Environment!Wed, 18 Jan 2012 11:23:09 CST
Dr. Jude Capper of Washington State University has done some outstanding research that shows modern beef production in the United States has a smaller carbon footprint than production of a couple of decades back. And, she has also shown that cattle fed a grain based diet for the last part of their lives has a very favorable environmental impact versus cattle raised strictly in a grass fed regimen.
According to Capper's website, "Modern beef production requires considerably fewer resources than the equivalent sys-tem in 1977, with 69.9% of animals, 81.4% of feedstuffs, 87.9% of the water, and only 67.0% of the land required to produce 1 billion kg of beef. Waste outputs were similarly reduced, with modern beef systems producing 81.9% of the manure, 82.3% CH4, and 88.0% N2O per billion kilograms of beef compared with production systems in 1977.
"The Carbon footprint per billion kilograms of beef produced in 2007 was reduced by 16.3% com- pared with equivalent beef production in 1977. As the US population increases, it is crucial to continue the improvements in efficiency demonstrated over the past 30 yr to supply the market demand for safe, affordable beef while reducing resource use and mitigating environmental impact."
Click here to jump to her website and summaries of her recent research efforts.
The American Angus Association has produced a video with Dr. Capper where she discusses her research and talks about what a great story the US beef cattle industry has in being good stewards of the environment. Click on the play button within the video screen to see this YouTube presentation.
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