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Global livestock greenhouse gas increased by 51 percent during 1961-2010

By Harinder Makkar, FAO, Rome

According to a recent paper by Caro et al. published in Climatic Change, increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from livestock in developing countries was 117%, while the emission from developed countries decreased by 23% during the period 1960-2010.

Understanding cow behaviour to improve their welfare on smallholder dairy farms

By John Moran*

The demand for dairy produce is growing worldwide. Unfortunately keeping dairy cows in tropical conditions in developing countries is fraught with risks to their welfare, and performance is usually well below that achieved in western countries. Although many developing countries are currently importing much of their dairy requirements from developed countries, most governments are also expanding their own dairy industries.

Insect meal: a promising future feed

By Harinder Makkar, FAO, Rome

Based on the papers presented and discussions held at the FAO-Wageningen UR conference on ‘Insects to feed the world’ convened in May this year, it is plausible to suggest that insect meals are promising future alternative feeds and a viable solution for the protein deficit problem.

Climate change and mycotoxin prevalence

By Paula Kovalsky*

The occurrence of mycotoxins is a worldwide phenomenon that affects all kinds of commodities. The conditions under which these toxic substances are produced depend highly on two main factors: water availability and temperature that affect the life cycle of mycotoxigenic fungi. It seems that we are facing shifts in mycotoxin patterns as the world is experiencing climate changes. This much-discussed topic does not only imply temperature increase, but also increases in CO2 levels and high variability in weather conditions, including changes in precipitation patterns and frequent storms.

Animal Feed and Feeding: R&D Priorities for NENA

By Harinder Makkar, FAO, Rome

Feed is the foundation of the livestock production, with feed costs generally accounting for up to 70% of the cost of production. Feed prices have been increasingly volatile due to negative impacts of natural disasters and climate change, as well as from increasing competition in the use of grains for feed, food and bio-fuel. Increasing demand of livestock products impose a huge demand on feed resources. Bio-physical factors such as scarcity of land, soil and water, food-fuel-feed competition, ongoing global warming, and increasing competition for arable land and non-renewable resources such as fossil sources and minerals are challenging the sustainability of feed production systems.

Practices that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock sector

By Harinder Makkar, FAO, Rome

Direct link exists between greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensities (emissions as CO2 equivalent per unit of product) and the efficiency with which natural resources are used. Therefore, to a large extent possible interventions to reduce emissions hinges on technologies and practices that improve production efficiency at animal and herd levels.

While mitigation interventions will need to be tailored to local objectives and conditions, currently available mitigation options are presented below.

Impact of feed supply chain on environment

By Harinder Makkar, FAO, Rome

Globally, the production, processing and transport of feed account for about 45% of the green house gas (GHG) emission from livestock sector. At a species level, feed production constitutes 47% and 57% of emissions from pork and chicken supply chains, respectively. For cattle, small ruminants and buffalo, feed production contributes 36%, 36% and 28% of the total emissions respectively. For ruminants these values are relatively smaller because enteric methane comprises the dominant fraction of total emissions.

World cereal use for animal feeding

By Harinder Makkar, FAO, Rome

FAO Food Outloook 2013

In 2011/12, of the total cereal production (2354.2 million tonnes), 33.7% were used for feed and 45.3% for food.

For 2012/13 the estimated values are: total production 2309.8 million tonnes; feed use 34.4% and food use 46.9%.

E-conference on "Role of Agro-Industrial and Forestry By-Products in the Feeding of Dairy Animals in Asia and Other Tropical Regions"

FAO-APHCA (Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific) and AGA (Animal Production and Health Division of FAO) are pleased to announce an E-conference on "Role of Agro-Industrial and Forestry By-Products in the Feeding of Dairy Animals in Asia and Other Tropical Regions" from November 11, 2013 to December 10, 2013. The e-conference will be held under the auspices of Asia Dairy Network and will be moderated by Dr. John Moran, Coordinator, Asia Dairy Network.