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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 27 November 2013

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TheBeefSite
Wednesday 27th November 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


Kill or Save the Environment With Cattle

New focus was put on cattle farming’s environmental impact this week after a study concluded US methane emissions could be 50 per cent higher than officially calculated.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, painted a dim picture for both agriculture and fossil fuels.

In their conclusion, the team, led by Harvard University’s Scott M Miller, concluded greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and fossil fuel extraction were likely a factor of two or greater than prior estimates.

But, to look solely at emissions without considering the cow's environment would be blinkered, explained Dr Anita Idel, a veterinary surgeon from Austria earlier this month.

Summarising findings of a World Agriculture report into sustainable farming, Dr Idel said that waste gases, do represent a problem, but so does a farming system that fails to put cattle on grassland.

She explained that, in focusing on methane, not enough attention is given to the ‘multi-functional linkages’ between animal, soil and plants in a grazing environment.

When this interaction becomes understood, Dr Idel’s message was that cows can be viewed as a ‘climate saviour’

These are further embellished when considering that humans do not eat grass, but compete with livestock feed for grain, argued Dr Idel.

“One third of the world’s grain ends up in feed troughs,” said Dr Idel.

“More than half of high protein, energy rich feed in the EU is imported. The Rainforest has been cut down to grow soy for decades.”

But, she conceded methane posed a threat to climate change, it being over 20 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide.

However, the role cattle play in providing healthy, fertile soils was also explored because considering only methane leads people to the ‘wrong conclusions’, she added.

The action of grazing, excreting and trampling were all cited as beneficial to triggering grass growth and building humus when applied in the right intensity.

Developing ‘grass carpets’ is important and locks in carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere and prevents erosion, she added.

She argued for the importance of humus, commenting: “Each ton of additional humus relieves the atmosphere due to the high carbon content of more than 1.8 tons of CO2. At the same time this humus is a guarantee of soil fertility.”

‘Cows are an environmental saviour’, summarised Dr Idel. “The decision whether to kill or protect the environment with ruminants lies with us.”


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Frost and Johnsongrass? Look Out for Poisoning
Cattle could be put at danger if in fields containing Johnsongrass when the frost hits.

How Can Canadians Respond to Pain Challenges in Livestock?
A farm animal welfare and behaviour expert has said that animal welfare research, while important, can't be waited on for fear of risking the sector's reputation.

Get Ready For More Cost Effective Genomics
The technology to DNA top performers may not be cost effective currently, but keeping a little reminder of a breeding animal kept in an envelope may come in handy in the years to come, according to Lisa Guenther, writing for Genome Alberta.

Cows and Butterflies: Why Private Grazing Lands Matter
Midwest ranchers may have been following the plight of two Butterflies which have dwindled from the rangelands in recent years. A range field specialist explores how they can be saved and why.

Forage Care: Minimising Storage Loss in Round Bales
Densely packed square bales are the easiest to store, advises Doo-Hong Min, K-State Research and Extension, important to note at times of high hay costs.

Market Reports

EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 22 November 2013
USDA Cattle on Feed - 22 November 2013
USDA Cold Storage - 22 November 2013
USDA Livestock Slaughter - 21 November 2013
UK Slaughter Statistics - October 2013
NAB Australian Rural Commodities Wrap - 15 November 2013

Global Beef Industry News

   United States

Cattle Futures: Strong Gains, Tuesday
Methane Figures Are 50 Per Cent Higher Than Thought
Futures Higher Tuesday
Farmer, Rancher and Consumer Groups Celebrate New 'COOL'
Cattle Outlook: Further Drops in Cattle On Feed Year on Year
Cattle On Feed Report, 6 Per Cent Lower Than November 2012
Cattle Futures: Contracts Close Lower to End Week
Latest USDA Monthly Livestock Data Deemed Mostly Neutral for Cattle and Hog Futures
Composting Cattle Cuts Costs
NFU Leads Launch of 'Year of Family Farming' Campaign
NFU Represented on USDA Advisory Committee
CME: Meat, Poultry Prices Stay Strong in 2013
Cattle Futures: Talk of Early December Market Pushes Live Cattle Up
Bulls and Bears on Level Futures Playing Field
Cattle Futures: Quiet Trading Sees 10 to 47 Cent Gains, Wednesday
Pre Report Estimates Say Cattle on Feed Will Lift
Is Income Set to Become Dominant Driver of Global Food System?
Bulls Lose Advantage, Market Top in Place, Wednesday
Demand for Details on Food Labels Includes Good and Bad
Cattle Futures: December, February Post Losses
Wyckoff's Weekly Cattle Outlook: Mixed Bag at Start of Week
Tyson Sales and Profits Rise

   Australia

Queensland Drought Intensifies
MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary
Roma and Dubbo Yardings Increase Thursday
Feedlot Cattle Welfare Hits Youtube

   European Union

Auditors Find Criteria for EU Farm Aid Abused
Commission Proposes Tripling Spending to Support Ag Exports
Europeans Still Poorly Informed about Antibiotics
MEPs Approve Greener and Fairer Agricultural Policy
Copa-Cogeca Welcomes Commission Proposal to Reform Promotion Policy
European Parliament Approves Budget

   United Kingdom

Quiet Deadweight Prices, Stores 'Firm', Cull Cows Lower
Rent and Grassland Optimisation Key for Suckler Profitability
Grant to Assist in Brucellosis Detection and Vaccination
Six Meals Wasted a Week Per Household
New Studentships Use Science to Boost Industry Efficiency, Know-how
Farm Business Innovation – Growing in Different Directions
Shoppers Should Know How Their Meat was Killed, Says RSPCA
Cutting The Cost of Winter Feeding
LMC: Live Prices Back, Slaughter Plants Steady
Little Change in UK Antibiotic Use in Animals

   Russian Federation

Miratorg Looks to Belarus for Cattle Supplies in Bryansk

   Canada

Canada, Quebec Governments Announce Six Million Dollar Investment

   Mexico

Hong Kong Approves Meat Imports from Mexico

   Israel

FMD NEWS: FMD Outbreak in Israel
FMD Outbreak in Israel Affects Beef Cattle

   Taiwan

Tariffs to be Lifted on Red Meat to Taiwan

   Brazil

Rondonia Exports the Most Beef

   New Zealand

Water 'Dilemma' Faces New Zealand Cattle Industry

   Argentina

Argentina Second Largest Beef Supplier of Chile

   Nicaragua

Nicaragua Lead Way in Cattle Identification

   Honduras

Beef and Dairy Farms Boosted by Disease News

   China

China's Farm Produce Prices Rebound

Events/Promotions

swinecast-your-connection-at-your-convenience
The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
Beef Summit Brazil - 10th - 11th December
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