Beef production and the environment

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dun

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Mar 17, 2009 11:42 AM, Source: Hudson Institute; By: Alex Avery, Director of Research and EducationCenter for Global Food Issues

Conventional Beef Production Using Growth-promoting Pharmaceuticals is More Environmentally Friendly Than Organic, Grass-Only Beef Production



For years, beef producers and most consumers, as well as scientists from all over the world, including the World Health Organization, recognized that growth promotants used in beef production not only improved efficiency but also were safe for both the environment and beef consumers. The Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues (CFGI) recently conducted an in-depth environmental impact analysis of an Iowa State University (ISU) study comparing two production methods —— conventional, grain-based beef production using growth-promoting technologies and organic, grass-only beef production. The results were surprising, especially for the environmentalists who would like to believe an often-cited 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture Report that claims beef production —— and all livestock production, for that matter —— are primary contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. The CFGI scientific analysis found that conventional beef production methods are more environmentally friendly than organic, grass-only production.

The ISU study found that because of increased production efficiency that growth promotants deliver, conventional production systems are three times more land-efficient than the organic-grass-only system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent. By utilizing safe, FDA-approved technologies, beef producers actually are producing more pounds of beef per acre of land and are significantly reducing the amount of CO2-equivalent emissions from methane gas produced by cattle. Producing more food with less land is critical when we consider the burgeoning world population, world hunger and increasing world demand for beef and other animal proteins.

Since only about 40 percent of the world's land mass is suitable for the production of food, feed and fiber to feed the world's growing population, it is critical that we use our farming resources —— especially land —— as efficiently as possible. Plus, environmentalists all over the world are increasing their efforts to conserve biodiverse natural habitats, which means increasing productivity is our only realistic and responsible option.

According to a 2008 paper by Searchinger et al. in Science magazine, clearing additional land for agriculture causes the release of significant CO2 emissions from the soil and lost forest growth. These researchers estimate that each acre of land cleared for food production results in 10,400 lbs/acre/year of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases over the subsequent 30 years (based on estimated emissions from each type of land converted to cultivation in the 1990s). Using data from Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Hudson Institute analysis demonstrates that conventional grain-based beef production's three-fold greater land use efficiency over organic, grass-based finishing results in even lower overall greenhouse gas emissions than directly attributable to beef production.

EPA scientists recognize that beef production contributes only 2 percent of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions compared to 80 percent for fossil fuel consumption. This recent ISU/CFGI research shows us that by maximizing production efficiency by using safe, available growth-enhancing technologies, we can minimize emissions even more. Growth promotants help make food more affordable for consumers, and help the beef industry and consumers have an even greater positive impact on the environment. Increased production efficiency means more beef per acre of land, which means fewer acres will need to be cleared for cultivation, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
 

Caustic Burno

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Looks to me they wasted money to prove a point to a terrorist organization the EPA.
Our country is in far greater danger from the major terrorist organizations deeply embeded already, the Senate, House of Represenatives, EPA and IRS. This a growing list of bureaucracies ran and fueled by special intrest groups that are sucking the life blood out of the country.
 

backhoeboogie

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dun":3bnzs6x0 said:
According to a 2008 paper by Searchinger et al. in Science magazine, clearing additional land for agriculture causes the release of significant CO2 emissions from the soil and lost forest growth.

The flood plains for rivers or river deltas are some of the best farm land in the U.S. Why build homes and sub-divisions on them? You know they will flood one day.

Why take the very best farm land for sub-divisions in the first place at other locations? It is happening all over my county. Rocky land that is not suitable for farming just sits there but the best farm land is now gone or going.

Of course, the people in these homes are probably the very people who point at farmers and are so concerned with global warming.
 

Busterz

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I've read some stuff from this guy before. I don't put much stock into what he writes. He puts a fancy title on his research institute which I'm guessing isn't much more than him reading some real scientific studies then writing about and critiquing them. The problem is, last I had heard he didn't have a phd and wasn't really much of a scientist. I think he just takes positions on the industry that people in the industry want to hear so he can sell books and get his name out.

Just my opinion. I like real scientists to inform me on scientific matters.
 

IluvABbeef

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dun":16pb8ohr said:
Mar 17, 2009 11:42 AM, Source: Hudson Institute; By: Alex Avery, Director of Research and EducationCenter for Global Food Issues

Conventional Beef Production Using Growth-promoting Pharmaceuticals is More Environmentally Friendly Than Organic, Grass-Only Beef Production



For years, beef producers and most consumers, as well as scientists from all over the world, including the World Health Organization, recognized that growth promotants used in beef production not only improved efficiency but also were safe for both the environment and beef consumers. The Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues (CFGI) recently conducted an in-depth environmental impact analysis of an Iowa State University (ISU) study comparing two production methods —— conventional, grain-based beef production using growth-promoting technologies and organic, grass-only beef production. The results were surprising, especially for the environmentalists who would like to believe an often-cited 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture Report that claims beef production —— and all livestock production, for that matter —— are primary contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. The CFGI scientific analysis found that conventional beef production methods are more environmentally friendly than organic, grass-only production.

The ISU study found that because of increased production efficiency that growth promotants deliver, conventional production systems are three times more land-efficient than the organic-grass-only system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent. By utilizing safe, FDA-approved technologies, beef producers actually are producing more pounds of beef per acre of land and are significantly reducing the amount of CO2-equivalent emissions from methane gas produced by cattle. Producing more food with less land is critical when we consider the burgeoning world population, world hunger and increasing world demand for beef and other animal proteins.

Since only about 40 percent of the world's land mass is suitable for the production of food, feed and fiber to feed the world's growing population, it is critical that we use our farming resources —— especially land —— as efficiently as possible. Plus, environmentalists all over the world are increasing their efforts to conserve biodiverse natural habitats, which means increasing productivity is our only realistic and responsible option.

According to a 2008 paper by Searchinger et al. in Science magazine, clearing additional land for agriculture causes the release of significant CO2 emissions from the soil and lost forest growth. These researchers estimate that each acre of land cleared for food production results in 10,400 lbs/acre/year of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases over the subsequent 30 years (based on estimated emissions from each type of land converted to cultivation in the 1990s). Using data from Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Hudson Institute analysis demonstrates that conventional grain-based beef production's three-fold greater land use efficiency over organic, grass-based finishing results in even lower overall greenhouse gas emissions than directly attributable to beef production.

EPA scientists recognize that beef production contributes only 2 percent of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions compared to 80 percent for fossil fuel consumption. This recent ISU/CFGI research shows us that by maximizing production efficiency by using safe, available growth-enhancing technologies, we can minimize emissions even more. Growth promotants help make food more affordable for consumers, and help the beef industry and consumers have an even greater positive impact on the environment. Increased production efficiency means more beef per acre of land, which means fewer acres will need to be cleared for cultivation, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Sure a lot of gaping holes in this article. It's like he doesn't even think about the CO2 emissions coming from having to haul manure from these drylots he supports, nor the amount of petroleum that is invested in making this conventional system work--feed, fertilizer and fuel.

I don't believe a word this Avery fella says in this article. Matter of fact, to put bluntly, it's a waste of time even just reading it.




Go grassfed! :banana:
 
OP
dun

dun

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The point being that both sides of the issue have an agenda and will grind their axe.
I don;t believe out of hand everything the NRA says, but I lay more credence on it then the anti-gunners. Same thing with this.
 

pdfangus

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Caustic Burno":tmxu6kkx said:
Looks to me they wasted money to prove a point to a terrorist organization the EPA.
Our country is in far greater danger from the major terrorist organizations deeply embeded already, the Senate, House of Represenatives, EPA and IRS. This a growing list of bureaucracies ran and fueled by special intrest groups that are sucking the life blood out of the country.

another great post
 

Busterz

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dun":1o4ykrfg said:
The point being that both sides of the issue have an agenda and will grind their axe.
I don;t believe out of hand everything the NRA says, but I lay more credence on it then the anti-gunners. Same thing with this.

I know what you are saying but this guy is a joke and probably does more harm to his "side" than good. This guy is Baghdad Bob for the beef industry, I don't want him to be associated with it at all, muchless in front of a camera or getting published purporting to support it. He just makes everyone else look bad.
 

Brandonm22

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The guy makes valid arguments. There is no question that you can finish 3000 steers in six months in a feedlot occupying a far smaller land footprint than if they spent 12 to 18 months grazing range in western Oklahoma. I think you probably want to have a University double check his findings, but I see no reason to silence the man or dismiss his work out of hand. As for a Phd meaning anything......if they are commenting on anything outside of their specific field of expertise they are no more qualified or informed than anybody else.
 

hayray

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Great post Dun. For those of you worried about the author I wouldn't. He quoted sources and besides many other people have already published this same information in almost all of the cattle and agricultural magazines.
 

Bluestem

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dun":2jky2hp0 said:
The point being that both sides of the issue have an agenda and will grind their axe.
I don;t believe out of hand everything the NRA says, but I lay more credence on it then the anti-gunners. Same thing with this.
Point taken. I put little credence on anything coming out of this outfit. Just follow the money.
Both sides of an issue are trying to control each other with regulation. We should let the market place decide such matters.
 

Proverbs 12:10

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I believe years from now people will look back at this whole CO2 deal and carbon credits/cows destroying the world with methane gas/etc. and laugh...what a hoax! Numbers of scientists debunking the who CO2 thing is growing.
 

Jogeephus

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Proverbs 12:10":1hzidms5 said:
I believe years from now people will look back at this whole CO2 deal and carbon credits/cows destroying the world with methane gas/etc. and laugh...what a hoax! Numbers of scientists debunking the who CO2 thing is growing.

I already view it this way and I am a licensed carbon sequesterer.(long story but true) Unfortunately you will see more of this in the near future. Its a joke but there is a lot of money to be had by those who fall in line. Just don't know if money means that much to me. The dark side of me says "go for it". Let these fools line my pockets with their gold as I am in a perfect position to reap this loot. In my life, I have never seen such greed as I have in the presense of some of these people. It simply amazes me that it has gotten this far. Mark my words, if this movement continues to grow, this will be the end of agriculture as we know it in our country. I'll shut up now.
 

grannysoo

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Jogeephus":1ylyki72 said:
In my life, I have never seen such greed as I have in the presense of some of these people. It simply amazes me that it has gotten this far. Mark my words, if this movement continues to grow, this will be the end of agriculture as we know it in our country.

Reminds me of the old Carpenters song.

"We've only just begun".

This movement will continue to grow, the greed is constantly expanding, and our entire country is going to see the most massive changes ever in the next few years.

Circle the wagons and hang on tight.......
 

Workinonit Farm

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grannysoo":2lnlbol9 said:
This movement will continue to grow, the greed is constantly expanding, and our entire country is going to see the most massive changes ever in the next few years.

That is what scares me.

Katherine
 

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