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Environment - Mitloehner predicts decrease in cattle carbon emissions
14 January 2019

Frank Mitloehner 

Frank Mitloehner, professor of animal science at the University of California, Davis, has, once again, weighed in on debate about the environmental impact of cattle and beef.

On the question of herd sizes and cattle’s carbon footprint expanding to keep up with demand from a growing global population, the professor said on social media at the start of January that he believes no increase will be necessary. He argued that efficiency improvements in beef production will deliver all the extra beef required with herd sizes remaining at current rates.

“Globally, beef production efficiency would only need to improve by approximately 1% or 1.5% per year to keep up with population growth,” he said. “At this rate, herds wouldn’t need to expand and there wouldn’t be an increase in environmental impact.”

He went on to argue that cattle’s carbon footprint is much more likely to decrease. He explained: “There is huge potential to reduce enteric- and manure-based greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. My guess is that we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from each of these sources by 40% in the next 10 years.”

He added that if this improvement occurs, the credit should go to cattle farmers, which he said would be a first.

Information courtesy of Leatherbiz