The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint in North America

@article{Teague2016TheRO,
  title={The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint in North America},
  author={William R. Teague and Steven I. Apfelbaum and Rattan Lal and Urs P. Kreuter and Jason E. Rowntree and Chloe Davies and R. E. Conser and Mark Rasmussen and John P. Hatfield and T. Wang and F. F. Wang and Peter Byck},
  journal={Journal of Soil and Water Conservation},
  year={2016},
  volume={71},
  pages={156 - 164}
}
Owing to the methane (CH4) produced by rumen fermentation, ruminants are a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) and are perceived as a problem. We propose that with appropriate regenerative crop and grazing management, ruminants not only reduce overall GHG emissions, but also facilitate provision of essential ecosystem services, increase soil carbon (C) sequestration, and reduce environmental damage. We tested our hypothesis by examining biophysical impacts and the magnitude of all GHG emissions from… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Managing Grazing to Restore Soil Health, Ecosystem Function, and Ecosystem Services

Ruminants including domestic livestock, have been accused of causing damaging impacts on the global environment and human well-being. However, with appropriate management, ruminant livestock can play

Key traits for ruminant livestock across diverse production systems in the context of climate change: perspectives from a global platform of research farms

This study collated information from a global network of research farms reflecting a variety of ruminant production systems in diverse regions of the globe and drew key changes in the genetic and nutritional approaches relevant to each system that, if implemented, would help shape more sustainable future ruminants livestock systems.

Potential mitigation of midwest grass-finished beef production emissions with soil carbon sequestration in the United States of America

Beef production can be environmentally detrimental due in large part to associated enteric methane (CH4) production, which contributes to climate change. However, beef production in well-managed

Review: Impact of Food and Climate Change on Pastoral Industries

The industrialization of agriculture based on inexpensive fossil fuels allowed for unprecedented levels of food production and population growth, but simultaneously contributed to a threat to food

Ecosystem Impacts and Productive Capacity of a Multi-Species Pastured Livestock System

Regenerative agriculture is a newly codified approach to agriculture that emphasizes reducing reliance on exogeneous inputs, as well as restoring and enhancing ecosystem services such as soil carbon

Organic Farming as a Strategy to Reduce Carbon Footprint in Dehesa Agroecosystems: A Case Study Comparing Different Livestock Products

The results reveal that the farms producing meat cattle with calves sold at weaning age provide the highest levels of carbon footprint, whereas the farms with the lowest level of carbon emissions are montanera pig and semi-extensive dairy goat farms, i.e., 4.16 and 2.19 CO2eq/kg of fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM), respectively.

Pasture chemoscapes and their ecological services

The objective of this review is to stimulate the quest for chemically and taxonomically diverse pastoral feeding systems that optimize overall productivity; reduce environmental impacts; and enhance livestock, soil, and human health.

Reducing climate impacts of beef production: A synthesis of life cycle assessments across management systems and global regions

Even if improved land‐based and efficiency management strategies could be fully applied globally, the trajectory of growth in beef demand will likely more than offset GHG emissions reductions and lead to further warming unless there is also reduced beef consumption.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 51 REFERENCES

The Importance of Termites to the CH4 Balance of a Tropical Savanna Woodland of Northern Australia

This study presents the first estimate of CH4 emissions from termites based on replicated in situ seasonal flux measurements in Australian savannas, and determined net CH4 flux within a tropical savanna woodland of northern Australia.

Soil Carbon Sequestration in Grazing Lands: Societal Benefits and Policy Implications

Abstract This forum manuscript examines the importance of grazing lands for sequestering soil organic carbon (SOC), providing societal benefits, and potential influences on them of emerging policies

Livestock and global change: Emerging issues for sustainable food systems

The global food system that will have to improve its resource use efficiency and environmental performance significantly to ensure the sustainability of global food production and consumption is outlined.

Soil Carbon Sequestration Impacts on Global Climate Change and Food Security

  • R. Lal
  • Medicine, Environmental Science
    Science
  • 2004
The carbon sink capacity of the world's agricultural and degraded soils is 50 to 66% of the historic carbon loss of 42 to 78 gigatons of carbon. The rate of soil organic carbon sequestration with

Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers deplete soil nitrogen: a global dilemma for sustainable cereal production.

A major global evaluation of current cereal production systems should be undertaken, with a view toward using scientific and technological advances to increase input efficiencies, and the input of ammoniacal N should be more accurately matched to crop N requirement.

Methane Emissions of Beef Cattle on Forages

Management-intensive grazing (MIG) is a BMP that offers the potential for more efficient utilization of grazed forage crops via controlled rotational grazing and more efficient conversion of forage into meat and milk.

Methane emissions of beef cattle on forages: efficiency of grazing management systems.

Management-intensive grazing (MIG) is a BMP that offers the potential for more efficient utilization of grazed forage crops via controlled rotational grazing and more efficient conversion of forage into meat and milk.

Climate Change and Food Systems

Food systems contribute 19%–29% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, releasing 9,800–16,900 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2008. Agricultural production,
...