Track 1-08

Description

Locally produced forage-finished beef offers high value while enhancing economic, environmental, and social sustainability. It enhances environmental quality and the natural resource base, and makes good use of resources both on and off-farm. On the farm, it makes the most of the ability of cattle to convert grass to meat in a low-input system, making efficient use of solar energy, improving soil nutrient cycling, conserving soil and water, and limiting reliance on non-renewable resources (DeRamus 2004). Although the major causes of increased greenhouse gas emissions are due to population growth and industrialization, agriculture contributes to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through its use of fossil fuels during cultivation, and indirectly through energy-intensive inputs such as fertilizers. Since grassland agriculture is also a significant contributor of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide N2O, there is now increasing pressure to curb emissions from livestock production. No-till forage establishment improves soil and air quality, minimizes surface runoff and soil erosion, enhances water quality, and reduces greenhouse gas contributions. An additional economic benefit is savings in fossil fuel costs due to reduced equipment use.

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Forage Systems Effect on Forage-Fed Beef Production

Locally produced forage-finished beef offers high value while enhancing economic, environmental, and social sustainability. It enhances environmental quality and the natural resource base, and makes good use of resources both on and off-farm. On the farm, it makes the most of the ability of cattle to convert grass to meat in a low-input system, making efficient use of solar energy, improving soil nutrient cycling, conserving soil and water, and limiting reliance on non-renewable resources (DeRamus 2004). Although the major causes of increased greenhouse gas emissions are due to population growth and industrialization, agriculture contributes to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through its use of fossil fuels during cultivation, and indirectly through energy-intensive inputs such as fertilizers. Since grassland agriculture is also a significant contributor of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide N2O, there is now increasing pressure to curb emissions from livestock production. No-till forage establishment improves soil and air quality, minimizes surface runoff and soil erosion, enhances water quality, and reduces greenhouse gas contributions. An additional economic benefit is savings in fossil fuel costs due to reduced equipment use.