Livestock role in Food Security and Global Farm Platform

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1 Rothamsted Research where knowledge grows Livestock role in Food Security and Global Farm Platform Professor Michael Lee Head of North Wyke Site, Rothamsted Research Chair in Sustainable Livestock Systems, University of Bristol

2 Global Challenges for Food Security Increasing population Increasing urbanisation Climate change Demand for animal protein

3 Extra Planets?

4 Increasing Demand for Meat

5 Role of Ruminants Global food demand predicted to increase up to 70% by 2050 (FAO, 2009) Requirement for increased efficient production from less land and resources Food Conversion Ratios (input per unit of output) Total energy Total protein Edible energy Edible protein (MJ/MJ edible energy in product) (kg/kg edible protein in product) (MJ/MJ edible energy in product) (kg/kg edible protein in product) Upland lamb Lowland suckler beef Cereal beef Pig meat Poultry meat (Wilkinson, 2011) 26% of earth s ice free la d ass is pasture (Steinfeld et al., 2006) ruminant livestock offer a valuable contribution to food production

6

7 1. Consumption of human food by livestock Every year: 1 billion tonnes! Wheat, barley, oats, rye, maize, sorghum, millet A third of the world s cereal grai Enough for 3.5 billion humans Developed countries: 70% of grain produced is for livestock; 40% for ruminants

8 1. Consumption of human food by livestock Give up eating livestock produce? Could that mean enough grain for 3.5 billion humans Why is this wrong? Ruminants competing with humans Evolved to digest pasture, hay, silage, crop residues. Ruminants competing with crops, but can graze where crops not possible or use waste products designed TMR

9 3. Environmental Footprint Problem Livestock considered unsustainable: 14.5% of human-induced emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) Solutions: Life-Cycle Assessment of Production Systems Balanced, include positive contributions: All products: hides, wool, traction, biogas (from manure) Biodiversity, ecosystem services Carbon capture: manure v synthetic fertilizer (fossil fuel) GHG from mechanized arable agriculture, food processing Nutritional strategies Efficiency drivers

10 5. Focus on healthy food and waste Foods to improve the health of the nation Lipids (P:S; omega-3:omega-6) Protein (amino acid balance) Micro-nutrients (Minerals and vitamins) Social science what we eat Malnutrition vs. Obesity Solutions Eat less of a higher quality Importance of high quality livestock products in the diets of the poor Waste 1.3 Billion tonnes wasted each year 1.3 Million tonnes in the UK Food is no longer valued Milk Cheaper than water!

11 Contrasting Livestock Production Systems Nomadic herding e.g. Africa Intensive production e.g. USA/UK Grass-fed production e.g. Uruguay/UK Cut and carry systems e.g. India

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14 North Wyke Farm Platform A globally unique facility covering 68ha addressing the issues of sustainable intensification Collects key data at the field-scale to enable farm relevant research

15 Soil Atmosphere Farm Management Water % Moisture Rainfall Field inputs/outputs Temperature Temperature CO2 and N2O Liveweight gain Conductivity Farm activities Labour hours Machine hours Turbidity ph Dissolved O2 Ammonium Nitrate Dissolved organic C ph Bulk density N, P & C status Flow cell & sensors 15 flume laboratories Sequential/composite sampler Total-P Ortho-P follow us

16 Trade offs (Beef) Criteria Animal performance Carrying capacity Nutritional quality Measure Daily weight gain Animals per hectare Nutrients per hectare (e.g. calories, protein, minerals) Nutrient and soil loss to water Losses per hectare per day Greenhouse gas emissions CO2 (or equivalent) per unit of animal product Animal health and welfare Costs of preventive veterinary care and treatment of diseases Biodiversity Range of wildlife and plant species Inputs (fertiliser, machinery, labour) Purchase cost Units Kg weight gain/day Kg weight/ha Kg nutrient/ha Outputs (beef cattle) Sales value Kg/ha/day Kg CO2eq/kg product Veterinary costs ( ) Species/ha

17 Livestock of course are more than food Livestock are part of the solution for sustainable global food security But they do not come without risk a d there is still lots to do

18 2. Poor animal health and welfare Problem 1 Zoonoses: diseases shared by animals and humans Low- and middle-income nations: 13 major livestock diseases infecting humans 2.2 million human deaths per annum Solution One Health: manage human and livestock disease together Problem 2: Production loss Disease kills young animals before they reach slaughter weight, reproduce, lactate or delays these productio goals Result: higher environmental impact, reduced productivity, slow genetic gain Solution Management: hygiene, quarantine, preventive medicine, surveillance, reduced stocking densities

19 4. Species/genotypes not suited to the environment Example: Holstein 30+ litres milk per day Bred for intensive management Bred for temperate climate World s ost i fertile far a i al I ported i to Afri a, Asia, ut Poor resistance to heat, humidity Poor resistance to tropical diseases, parasites Extra costs: Disease-free environment; extra drugs Not pasture-fed: cut-and-carry fodder; buy expensive feed Production 30% lower than expected Expenses outweigh extra income

20 4. Species/genotypes not suited to the environment Solution 1) Native local breeds Resistant to climate Resistant to local diseases 2) Modern genomics: production, climate adaptation, disease resistance FAO: % of the world s i dige ous a i al reeds are in danger of extinction

21 6. Husbandry and Management Traditional animal husbandry supplies more than just food: wealth, status, bank, dowry, traction, nutrient cycling Many of these benefits are disrupted when conventional grazing and mixed-farming practices are replaced with industrial systems that maximise short term production Solution: Polices to encourage humane efficiency production should consider cultural as well as natural factors

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