Greenhouse gas emissions & beef production

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1 Greenhouse gas emissions & beef production Implications for beef producers and the supply chain Dr. Roger Hegarty Prof. Animal Nutrition Univ. New England Agribusiness Today Beef Forum 7/8/2014

2 Contents 1.Scale of cattle emissions (global) 2.Manageability of emissions 3.Does CFI = CashFarming Initiative? 4.A broader perspective of climate and my property

3 1. GLOBAL GHG emissions profile Source: IPCC (2007); based on global emissions from 2004

4 1. Australia s GHG emissions profile World Ag = 16% Station Energy = 52.1% Transport 16.3%

5 1. 1. Australia s GHG emissions profile Enteric methane = 65% of total agricultural CO 2 e emissions 70 % of methane Beef Sheep Dairy

6 Australia s emissions of enteric methane

7 1. But we still don t produce much food for all the emissions cattle produce Kg CO2e/kg protein produced Gerber 2013

8 1. General Conclusions Agriculture is a significant source of anthropogenic emissions Livestock are the largest source of Australia s agricultural emissions Enteric (gut) methane is the largest component of livestock emissions Beef cattle are the biggest source of livestock emissions (direct or LCA) globally & nationally

9 1. But.. The focus is increasingly shifting from Methane per day To Methane/kg product (egbeef) (Emission Intensity)

10 2. Managing Emissions Animal management Animal breeding Nutritional modification (access)

11 2. 1. Animal Management Picture of anchor Approximately 22g methane produced/kg feed DM eaten

12 2. 1. Animal Management 22g methane /kg feed DM eaten So reduce emission cost/kg of beef by: 1. Avoid allowing animals to eat but not produce. 2. Have each animal produce to its genetic potential

13 2. More Efficient Livestock Systems Northern Australian Grazing British breed cattle >1 t CH 4 /t LW weaned Tropically adapted cattle <1t CH 4 /t LW weaned

14 2. Reducing Emission Intensity Not carrying empty cows Nutritional and health management for growing cattle Sustainable Intensification Anything that makes individual cattle generate more product

15 2. More product per head gives FLEXIBILITY to achieve what is important to YOU 1. Same beef sold for Lower GHG output 2. More beef sold for same GHG output 3. Much more beef sold for a bit more GHG output

16 2. 2. Animal Genetics Measured ~1000 cattle from Trangie NSW DPI Methane /kg feed intake is heritable No adverse genetic correlations Will continue to measure on industry cattle via Beef Industry Nucleus herds managed by breed societies Progressing towards breeding values (EBVs) for Breedplan Will need genomic (DNA) based EBVs in future

17 2. 2. Animal Nutrition FATS &OILS (1% oils ~4g methane/kg intake) NITRATE TANNINS (eg in Lotus)

18 2. Accelerated finishing +

19 3. IMPLICATIONS (of Beef methane) The emission cost of beef is high but management can do much to reduce it. Enterprise change to reduce emission intensity is generally consistent with increased profitability Is a 10% decrease in 65% of 65% of 16% of 2% of word emissions really worth doing?

20 4. 3. Will reducing methane make me money now? Everything that makes an animal more productive reduces emissions/kg beef

21 4. 3. Will reducing methane make me money? Everything that makes an animal more productive reduces emissions/kg beef YES but what about specifically getting paid for reducing my emissions under the Carbon Farming Initiative?????????????

22 3. 4. Carbon Farming Initiative recognized methodologies APPROVED CFI METHODOLOGIES - LIVESTOCK Destruction of methane generated from dairy manure in covered anaerobic ponds Destruction of methane from piggeries using engineered biodigesters Destruction of methane generated from manure in piggeries Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in milking cows through feeding dietary additives (fats & oils) Sequestering carbon in soils in grazing systems Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in beef cattle through feeding nitrate containing supplements* METHODOLOGIES UNDER DEVELOPMENT LIVESTOCK Early finishing of beef cattle in rangeland areas through implementation of a supplementary feeding regime Fats & oils feeding of sheep and cattle Kohn 2014

23 4. 3. Carbon Farming Initiative recognized methodologies APPROVED CFI METHODOLOGIES - LIVESTOCK Destruction of methane generated from dairy manure in covered anaerobic ponds Destruction of methane from piggeries using engineered biodigesters Destruction of methane generated from manure in piggeries Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in milking cows through feeding dietary additives (fats & oils) Sequestering carbon in soils in grazing systems Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in beef cattle through feeding nitrate containing supplements* METHODOLOGIES UNDER DEVELOPMENT - LIVESTOCK Early finishing of beef cattle in rangeland areas through implementation of a supplementary feeding regime Fats & oils feeding of sheep and cattle Kohn 2014

24 4. 3. Carbon Farming Initiative recognized methodologies APPROVED CFI METHODOLOGIES - LIVESTOCK Destruction of methane generated from dairy manure in covered anaerobic ponds Destruction of methane from piggeries using engineered biodigesters Destruction of methane generated from manure in piggeries Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in milking cows through feeding dietary additives (fats & oils) Sequestering carbon in soils in grazing systems Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in beef cattle through feeding nitrate containing supplements* METHODOLOGIES UNDER DEVELOPMENT - LIVESTOCK Early finishing of beef cattle in rangeland areas through implementation of a supplementary feeding regime Fats & oils feeding of sheep and cattle Kohn 2014

25 4. Does it matter? Look Ahead Increased global population Increased human food demand Mostly in developing world Increased meat demand In major poverty areas: Decreased rain Hotter Increased variability` POPULATION ENERGY CLIMATE Fossil Fuels lift prices of commodities that depend on it

26 4. Climate change and your business. The bigger picture It is not the change in feeds, weeds or local conditions on your farm that will determine your future, but Changes in suitability for alternate enterprises on my property & regionally Changes (especially irrigation water) affecting global capacity to produce my product OR competing products

27 The Great Plains is the most productive drylandwheat area in the world, and pivotal to world grain supplies. Great Plains production accounts for 51 percent of the nation's wheat, 40 percent of its sorghum, 36 percent of its barley, 22 percent of its cotton, 14 percent of itsoats, and 13 percent of its corn. It produces 40 percent of the nation's cattle. (Ojimaet al 1993)

28 Water for Agriculture Glacier melt provides at lea of the flowin the rivers that provide for at least half the world s populationin the Himalaya hindu-kush region (Barnett et al., 2005)

29 SUMMARY Livestock emissions are a substantial and visible environmental impact of beef production Most management decisions to improve productivity (profitability) of beef cattle will reduce emission cost/kg of beef. Reduced emission intensity should be considered a spin-off (and encourager) of improving farm efficiency Don t think that the extent of climate change on your farm finance = $ value of carbon credits.it is principally affecting global demand and supply for your product

30 Thank you

31

32 ACCU Issuance at 30 th June 2014

33 Cattle are the largest global enteric Gerber 2013

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