But high welfare livestock systems can be a vital part of restoring ecosystems, maintaining soil fertility, producing food from marginal land and providing important nutritional benefits. For example, in temperate regions grass is a vitally important crop — the only one that will restore degraded soil and take more carbon out of the atmosphere. Yet we cannot eat grass, so the only way to retain grassland and the only way to get food from it is if we stock it with grazing animals. Long-established grassland also stores more carbon than the atmosphere and all the forests on the planet combined.
In addition, sympathetically managed grassland is also very important for pollinating insects, providing food in late summer from herbs, grassland flowers, flowering clover and other legumes. Grassland also soaks up heavy rain much better than cropland, reducing the risk of flooding and improving the quality of both river and groundwater used for drinking. As such, the questions arise: what constitutes sustainable livestock production, and by implication, what constitutes unsustainable livestock production? These and related issues are explored in the following articles.
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food recently released a statement on animal agriculture gi Following some questions raised about the sustainability of milk, Richard Young has been investig After remaining free of TB for 39 years, Patrick Holden speaks out about the realities of being a Could livestock play an important role in alleviating climate change?
Comparing agriculture of the past with today.
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Sustainable agriculture. Farmers helping the environment. Environmental impact of animal production. Organic farming. Misconceptions about organic foods. Nutrient excretion. Feeding the World. Products from animals. How to select the best pork. Why eat animal products? Efficient animals. Food wastage. Food safety. Food inspection. Food recalls. Growth promotant use in animal production. Antibiotic use in animal production. Farm to fork. The role of biotechnology.
Kids Zone. Jr Animal Scientist. For Families. School or Group membership. Teaching guide. Raising animals around the world. What's a rumen? Dogs help reduce stress. Dog food. Canine Parvovirus. Canine Obesity Health Issues. Beef Cattle. What do beef cattle eat? What does a horse skeleton look like? Horse nutrition and digestion. Equine therapy.
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- Challenges to developing sustainable animal agriculture in western Pennsylvania!
Taking care of race horses. Horse hoof trimming. Diseases in pig production. Swine castration. Third, the researchers point out that the existing transportation infrastructure in western Pennsylvania is not sufficient to support a large-scale livestock industry. The livestock industry relies on efficient transportation systems to supply inputs and move products to retail markets, making it important for livestock farms, input suppliers and livestock processors to be closely linked to the local transportation infrastructure.
Fourth, the existing livestock industry in western Pennsylvania lacks "agglomeration economies"—the benefits in terms of proximity to suppliers, workers and customers that businesses obtain by locating close to each other—to build on. Water-quality limits for the Chesapeake Bay watershed set by EPA could lead to a downsizing of the livestock industry in the watershed, Abler explained. However, it does not automatically follow that any reductions in livestock production in the Chesapeake Bay watershed would be offset by increases in production in western Pennsylvania. The study's findings also suggest that addressing the challenges and opportunities of expanding animal agriculture in western Pennsylvania will require robust partnerships among local stakeholders, said research team member Walt Whitmer, senior extension educator.
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Findings from the community engagement components of the study—which involved an advisory team, a random-sample producers' survey, leadership interviews and community strategy meetings—indicate several important steps that should be considered by state and local governments and private sector partners. Recommendations include improving communications and coordination among public and private sector interests; expanding infrastructure capacity; increasing marketing, education and training opportunities; enhancing manure-management assistance and technical support; improving local government support for agriculture; and increasing state and federal support and incentives for animal agriculture in the region.
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The region of Pennsylvania drained by the Ohio River provides additional opportunities for new animal agriculture facilities and related manure-management activities. Researchers focused their analysis on three western Pennsylvania counties, Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland. Their estimates indicate the three counties together could support about 78, dairy cattle or about , beef cattle.
According to the ag census, these three counties combined have about 53, cattle and calves.
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