Canada's beef industry producing more with less greenhouse gas emissions: study

EDMONTON -- Canada's cattle industry is producing more beef with less greenhouse gas emissions, says a new study.

Researchers at the University of Manitoba and Agriculture Canada found a 15 per cent reduction in methane emissions on a production basis between 1981 and 2011, and a 16 per cent cut in nitrous dioxide from manure.

See Full Article

The results were achieved partly by feeding cattle grain instead of grass and other forage when they are being fattened before slaughter, says the study published in the journal Animal Production Science.

"A lot of our efficiencies in Canada have to due with the use of grain in feedlot diets," Tim McAllister, a research scientist with Agriculture Canada said Monday.

"They get more energy from it and with less digestive problems."

Changes in management practices have allowed cattle to be sent for slaughter at a younger age, around 18 months, rather than 24 months in the past.

The study compared the cattle herd, the amount of land required for beef production and the change in greenhouse gas emissions in the production of Canadian beef.

The results show the industry has become more efficient, with about 15 per cent fewer emissions overall.

"A significant reduction in GHG intensity over the past three decades occurred as a result of increased daily gain and slaughter weight, improved reproduction efficiency, reduced time to slaughter, increased crop yields and a shift toward high-grain diet that enabled cattle to be marketed at an earlier age," reads the study.

The beef industry accounts for 3.6 per cent of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions, a figure that hasn't changed much over the years, McAllister said.

Agriculture Canada once estimated that one lactating dairy cow produces a similar amount of greenhouse gas emissions as a mid-sized vehicle driven 20,000 kilometres in one year.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association hopes the study helps counter some of the criticism the beef industry has received over the years about how it affects the environment.

Tom Lynch-Staunton, an association spokesman, said many producers have changed how they operate.

"It tells us that our changes in management practices are actually having a positive impact," he said.

The industry includes 68,500 beef farms, mainly in Western Canada.

The study was commissioned and paid for by Agriculture Canada and by beef producers through a levy on cattle sales.

McAllister said the study is the first part of a multi-phase review of how Canada's beef industry is affecting the environment. Future reports are to cover the effect of the beef industry on water use, air quality and biodiversity.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Fisheries Dept. dispatches aircraft, boats to study right whale deaths

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. - Fisheries officials are trying to figure out what caused the recent deaths of several endangered right whales in the waters off eastern Canada. The Fisheries Department is raising concern about the deaths of at least five North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Source
  • Panda mania hits Germany as Meng Meng, Jiao Qing arrive

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Germany was bracing for panda mania as furry ambassadors arrive from China on Saturday, destined for a new life as stars of Berlin's premier zoo. The pair, named Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, will be jetting in on a special Lufthansa cargo plane, accompanied by two Chinese panda specialists, the Berlin Zoo's chief vet and a tonne of bamboo. Source
  • Google to stop scanning Gmail for ad targeting

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Google said Friday it would stop scanning the contents of Gmail users' inboxes for ad targeting, moving to end a practice that has fueled privacy concerns since the free email service was launched. A Google statement said Gmail users would still see "personalized" ads and marketing messages but these would be based on other data, which may include search queries or browsing habits. Source
  • It's worth the drive to totality: perspectives from an eclipse chaser: Bob McDonald

    Tech & Science CBC News
    August 21st is going to be an insane day across the United States as millions of people gather along a thin line that stretches from coast to coast to watch the moon pass directly in front of the sun in a total solar eclipse. Source
  • Dutch invent phone app to stop kids texting on bikes

    Tech & Science CTV News
    In the bike-mad Netherlands, the national phone company is developing a smart way to stop kids texting while cycling -- a growing cause of teenage accidents. A new app from phone company KPN will block internet and phone signals to a cyclist's smartphone while they are in the saddle. Source
  • Facebook launches plan to combat online extremism

    Tech & Science CTV News
    U.S. social media giant Facebook launched a campaign in Britain on Friday to counter the spread of online extremism following warnings from Prime Minister Theresa May after four terror attacks in three months. Facebook said it would seek to educate charities and other organisations on how to fight hate speech, in the wake of recent terror attacks in Belgium, Britain and France. Source
  • Live Asian carp discovered near Lake Michigan

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- A live Asian carp has been discovered in a Chicago waterway about nine miles from Lake Michigan -- well beyond an electric barrier network designed to prevent the invasive fish that have infested the Mississippi River system from reaching the Great Lakes, officials said Friday. Source
  • Secret history: How Steve Jobs went from rejecting to embracing the iPhone

    Tech & Science CBC News
    more stories from this episodeNew Prince songs hint at what's hidden in his fabled musical vaultRyan McMahon's guide to decolonization: 'Listen to us.'The iPhone's secret history: How Steve Jobs went from rejecting to embracing the future'A League of Their Own' celebrates 25 years of bringing women in baseball to the forefrontGrowing greener weed: How a B.C. Source
  • B.C. woman can file class-action lawsuit against Facebook: Supreme Court

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says a woman who wants to sue Facebook over its use of “sponsored stories” can pursue her case in British Columbia. Deborah Douez wants to file a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant over a now-defunct advertising format, which allegedly used her name and profile photo in ads endorsing a company for which she had clicked the “Like” button. Source
  • Is Tesla getting into the streaming music business?

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Electric carmaker Tesla said Thursday it was considering ways to enter music streaming amid a report it may launch a unique new service. The high-end carmaker, which already has a tie-up with streaming leader Spotify in some international markets, said it was aiming at ways to please drivers. Source