Animal feed resources information system

Nutrition during gestation influences postnatal productivity of ruminant livestock

By Alan Bell and Paul Greenwood

It has been long known that severe undernutrition of pregnant cows and sheep, especially during late gestation, can permanently retard body and wool growth of their offspring. However, the idea that maternal nutrition at various stages of pregnancy can indelibly influence lifetime productivity and health of progeny has gained additional currency from more recent epidemiological studies of human populations and detailed experimental studies of rodents as well as livestock species.

Areca sheath as an alternate dry fodder for livestock

By N.K.S. Gowda, National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bengaluru 560 030, India

In many tropical areas, areca nut (Areca catechu) production has been steadily increasing at the expense of paddy rice. It results in less straw available to cattle and a new crop residue: areca sheath. Areca sheath, when properly processed, can be fed to ruminants: it provides valuable fodder and could reduce feed cost in India.

Feeding strategies to enhance productivity and reduce the environment “hoofprint”

By Harinder P. S. Makkar, FAO, Rome, Italy

Livestock account for approximately 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Demand for animal products is expected to increase by 60-70% in the coming approximately three decades, which could put further pressure on already depleting natural resources. The production, processing and transport of feed accounts for about 45% of the GHG emission from the livestock sector. There is thus a clear need to use smart feeding strategies, which could enhance resource use efficiency, increase animal productivity and reduce environmental "hoofprint". Some of such strategies are described in this paper. Many other examples are illustrated in Feedipedia datasheets.

Impact of climate change on livestock productivity

By Sejian, V., Gaughan, J. B., Raghavendra Bhatta and Naqvi, S. M. K.

Climate change will have an impact on livestock performance in many regions and as per most predictive models the impact will be detrimental. Animals will have to face weathers extremes, e.g. intense heat waves, floods and droughts and will also be offered less feeds or poorer quality feeds. This paper makes an attempt to project the adverse impact of climate change on livestock production and the potential way of alleviating it.

Impacts of feeding less food-competing feedstuffs to livestock on global food system sustainability

By Christian Schader, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland

A global model system was designed in order to calculate various scenarios of food availability and impacts of food production on the environment. This model can be used in the future to answer various questions on the sustainability of agricultural and food systems.

Artificial meat may hold promise, but significant concerns remain

By J.-F. Hocquette (INRA) and L. I. Laestadius (Univ. Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Articificial meat made from cultured stem cells could be an alternative to traditional meat. It would need fewer farm animals and would address the challenge of producing enough meat for our increasing human population. However, production techniques still need to become more efficient and economically sustainable. Public receptiveness towards artificial meat is also ambivalent and other alternatives to enhance protein production within 25 years will have to be taken into account.

New insights into categorising the status of milking cows on a dairy farm

By John Moran, Profitable Dairy Systems, Kyabram, Victoria, Australia

Defining the status (wet, non-pregnant; wet, pregnant; dry, pregnant; dry, non-pregnant) of milking cows in tropical dairy farms is a useful tool to manage feeding and herd management. Good observation skills and a regular collection of data are necessary to provide consistent supply of nutrients to sustain milk yields.