Agriculture and Environment: Beef

Introduction

There are a number of ways to reduce the environmental impacts of beef production.

As with most operations, perhaps the key to reducing subsequent impacts is to site and construct operations well. Once built, however, there are still a number of management practices that can reduce environmental damage.

These include maintaining vegetative cover, avoiding overgrazing, protecting riparian areas, reducing waste and disposing of waste in the least harmful ways, reducing the use of chemicals and antibiotics, reducing wastewater and improving water effluent quality, and reducing soil compaction.

There are several specific ways to address many of these issues. However, some of the important, more general approaches include aligning production needs with natural processes, improving the feed conversion of animals from any feed source, producing and marketing cattle with more meat and less fat, and integrating beef production with other activities to increase overall carrying capacity and productivity.

 

Credits

Extracts from "World Agriculture & Environment" by Jason Clay - buy the book online from Island Press

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