Animal feed resources information system

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.1,2, Gaughan, J. B.2, Raghavendra Bhatta1 and Naqvi, S. M. K.3

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.

NIRS for feed and soil analysis in developing countries

By Pierre Dardenne (Walloon Agricultural Research Centre) and Paulo Salgado (CIRAD)

NIRS theory in a few words

Spectroscopy refers to the science dealing with the interactions between matter and light. In the infrared region (780 – 10 000 nanometers – Figure 1), the light hitting organic matter can be absorbed by the molecular vibrations at specific wavelengths depending on the chemical bonds (OH, CH, NH, etc.).

Do you know of a non-toxic Jatropha and its merit as animal feed?

By Harinder P.S. Makkar, FAO, Rome

On hearing jatropha (Jatropha curcas) two things come to mind:  it is an oil plant and its seeds are toxic. However, a non-toxic genotype of J. curcas exists in Mexico. Its seeds are consumed by people after roasting. Also after removal of the seed shells the kernel paste is used in local dishes in some parts of Mexico.