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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 1 February 2012

TheBeefSite Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday 1st February 2012
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial: Who Says Beef Production isn't Sustainable?

Over the last couple of years there has been increasing pressure on livestock production with regard to the environment and sustainability.

What is the environmental impact of livestock farming and is livestock production sustainable?

These are commonly asked questions, and the answers will vary greatly.

In 2006, the FAO concluded that livestock production was responsible for 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and despite later admitting this figure was invalid, the number has stuck.

As well as being environmentally damaging, critics also believe that intensive production systems are unsustainable.

Last week, Jude Capper from Washington State University spoke at the British Cattle Breeders' Conference and highlighted the improvements that the industry has made over the last 30 years and quashed some of the myths.

  • In 2007 the beef industry produced 13 per cent more beef from 30 per cent fewer animals, through maximising resources such as land and water.

  • The carbon footprint of beef was reduced by more than 16 per cent between 1977 and 2007.

  • Ms Capper's research highlighted the US as a leader in sustainable beef production, with US cattlemen raising 20 per cent of the world's beef with seven per cent of the world's cattle.

  • On average it takes 226 more days to produce grass-finished beef to reach market weight compared to grain-finished cattle. What is the environmental impact of this?

  • Each pound of grain-finished beef requires 45 per cent less land, 76 per cent less water and 49 per cent less feed than grass-finished beef. On top of this is generates 51 per cent less manure and 42 per cent fewer carbon emissions.

Jude Capper said that not eating meat in a bid to save the environment through eating a meatless meal once a week is only equal to .44 per cent of the US carbon footprint.

In the UK, the latest chapter of the roadmap, Down to Earth, which is the third in the series of on-going reports on the carbon footprint of beef and lamb production was launched by the English Beef and Lamb Executive this week.

The report shows that achieving optimum liveweight gains, selecting for slaughter and the best weight and specification, feeding good quality grass and rations and achieving the best output in breeding should be the main goals for low carbon cattle and sheep production.

The roadmap, which draws on data from around 200 farms in England includes sections on emissions benchmarking, carbon sequestration, waste in the supply chain, retailer activity and farmer cases studies.

The data was drawn from carbon footprint surveys carried out by EBLEX and also by McDonald's and the results reaffirmed the findings in the second chapter of the study, Testing the Water.

Charlotte Johnston

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 4 new features this week:

Outlook for 2012 Australian Live Cattle Exports
2011 has been described as one of the most tumultuous years in the history of the Australian livestock export industry, and the outlook for 2012 is uncertain, with a lot riding on access to Indonesian markets, writes Charlotte Johnston, TheCattleSite editor.
Positive Outlook for Irish Cattle in 2012
Cattle prices in 2011 for all animal age categories have been substantially higher than in 2010, and this has led to an increase in the value of cattle production on Irish farms, write James Breen and Kevin Hanrahan in their cattle outlook for 2011/12.
Andersons 2012 Beef Outlook: Cautiously Positive
The Andersons 2012 outlook studies the consequences of the past year on beef production in the UK and identifies the key issues that await it in 2012.
Winter Cold Stress on Cattle
Factors that create stress during the winter months are cold, wind, snow, rain and mud. The primary effect on animals is due to temperature. All these factors alter the maintenance energy requirements of livestock, writes the Ohio Beef Extension team.
Genus - Value through science and genomics
* Company News

Selecting the Best Cattle Respiratory Vaccine
US - Choosing a respiratory vaccine may start with simple questions like: Is this going to work? How much is it going to cost? But Ted Evans, DVM, Tecumseh Animal Clinic, Tecumseh, Nebraska, says producers need to dig deeper and consider the operation?s needs, as well as the vaccine?s label claims and duration of immunity.
Genomic-Enhanced EPDs Decrease Risk of Misclassifying Young Bulls
GLOBAL - A recent analysis shows that adding genomic information to expected progeny differences (EPDs) can increase a producer?s odds of selecting the most appropriate Angus sires for his or her individual herd goals.
MSD/Merck Animal Health Headquarter in New Jersey
US and NETHERLANDS - MSD Animal Health, known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada, has announced that it intends to centralise certain functions at the existing Merck Campus in Summit, New Jersey, US.
* Global Beef Cattle Industry News


 » FMD NEWS: Thirteen FMD Outbreaks in Libya
 » Increasing Genetic Improvement in Beef Herds
 » Findings on Safety of Genetically Modified Food
 » Australia Held 50% Share of Korean Beef Imports
 » Several Factors Affect Aussie Beef Imports
 » North America: Where's the Snow?
 » Livestock, not Gazelles, Drive FMD Outbreaks

Animax Veterinary Health
   United States

 » Finding New Forages for Rangeland Cattle
 » AMI to Co-Locate with IPE/IFE in 2013
 » Congress Urged to Reject Antibiotic Restrictions
 » CME: Analysts Expect Decline in Size of Cattle Herd
 » Preparing for Rift Valley Fever Vaccine Trials
 » Applying New Technology to Track FMD Vaccine
 » CME: Margins Fall for Beef Packers/ Tighten for Pork
 » Cattle Outlook: Retail Beef Prices Set Record
 » NFU Will Not Support Legislative Changes to COOL
 » Vaccine Protects Against Leptospirosis
 » CME: Cattle Numbers on Farms Smaller than Expected
 » Cattle Producers Show Surprise Interest in Expansion
 » Semi-Annual Cattle Inventory Summary
 » CME: Is Drought Still a Problem?
 » Weekly Roberts Market Report

   New Zealand

 » Europe Dampens NZ Farmer Confidence

Cow Signals Training Books
   United Kingdom

 » NFU Livestock Board Chairman Steps Down
 » Dairy & Beef Incomes Set to Rise
 » How to Make Better Vaccines for Humans & Animals
 » Govt Looks to Increase Food Exports
 » Strong Recovery in Beef-Sired Calf Births Last Year
 » Roadmap to a Low Carbon Farm
 » Final Members Join Animal Health & Welfare Board
 » MP Backs Landscapes Without Livestock Project
 » Monitor Farm Joins Johne?s Disease Research
 » Schmallenberg Virus: Further UK Testing Results


 » Indonesian 1st Quarter Cattle Permits Used Up
 » Cattle Prices Down, Exports Sluggish
 » Weekly Australian Cattle Summary
 » Japan Beef Demand Set to Rise
 » Outlook Bleak for 2012 Live Cattle Exports
 » Environmental Report on AAco Processing Plant

   Russian Federation

 » Russia Will Reduce its Imports of Meat in 2012

Pfizer Animal Health

 » Philippine's Agriculture Sector Continues to Grow

   South Africa

 » South Africa Reports One FMD Outbreak

   European Union

 » EFSA Guidance for Food & Feed from GM Animals
 » MEPs Support End to Hormone Beef Trade War
 » Guidelines for Risk Assessment of Animal Welfare


 » Govt Allowed Sale of Faulty FMD Vaccine in Paraguay


 » Irish Cattle Prices Likely to Drop in 2012


 » Canadian Beef Producers Optimism at All Time High


 » Beef Prices Fall as Cattle Supplies Rise in Zimbabwe


 » Schmallenberg Virus Spreads to France


 » Arla's Cows to Eat Sustainably Grown feed by 2015

   United Arab Emirates

 » UAE Sets Rules on Poultry and Meat Imports


 » Japan's Beef Imports up 4% in 2011


 » OIE: Thirteen FMD Outbreaks in Libya

That's all for this week!

Events / Promotions
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