Produclivity of American agriculture has tripled since then, and today only 3 percent of our labor force produces enough food and fiber to meet domestic needs as well as supplying about 10 percent of total overseas consumption. This huge increase in efficiency has been the result of many factors, including use of fertilizer, and pesticides, introduction of farm machinery, development of hybrid strains, and increased knowledge about farm management practices. As agriculture has become more intensive, farmers have become capable of producing higher yields using less labor and less land.
Follow TIME You may think you live on a planet, but really you live on a gigantic farm, one occasionally broken up by cities, forests and the oceans. There may be no other single human activity that has a bigger impact on the planet than the raising of livestock.
They dug up some striking statistics that underscore just how much meat production varies from region to region. Each year the livestock sector globally produces million tons of milk, million tons of poultry, 91 million tons of pork, 59 million tons of cattle and buffalo meat, and 11 million tons of meat from sheep and goats.
That million tons of meat altogether — or about 36 kg 80 lb. Of the 95 million tons of beef produced in the world inthe vast majority came from cattle in Latin AmericaEurope and North America.
All of sub-Saharan Africa — a region with nearly three times as many people as the entire U. All of the livestock in sub-Saharan Africa eat just 50 million tons of grain a year, otherwise subsisting on grasses and on crop residue.
The poor feed quality in impoverished regions like sub-Saharan Africa means that a cow there may consume as much as 10 times more feed — mostly grasses — to produce a kilogram of protein than a cow raised in richer regions. That lack of efficiency also means that cattle in countries like Ethiopia and Somalia account for as much as 1, kg of carbon for every kg of protein they produce — in the form of methane from manure as well as from the reduced carbon absorption that results when forests are converted to pastureland.
In sub-Saharan Africa, a cow might need kg to 2, kg of dry matter to produce a kg of protein, because of the poor feed quality in arid countries and because of the high mortality rates in herds of often undernourished and sick animals. Pork and poultry are also more efficient for feed, requiring up to five times less feed to produce a kg of protein than a cow, a sheep or a goat.
While factory farming in the U. Livestock also serves a different function in the developing world. For the environment — and for our hearts and waistlines too.Mission.
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The issue is conspicuous consumption and perceived poverty. Basically, if one is not over consuming, going into massive debt to support it all, then one is poor and boring.
our Progress. For years, we have been focused on finding ways to reduce our environmental footprint in water, packaging, waste, energy and agriculture – areas that are critical to our business and where we can make the biggest impact.
The recent intensification of agriculture, and the prospects of future intensification, will have major detrimental impacts on the nonagricultural terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of the world.
The doubling of agricultural food production during the past 35 years was associated with a fold. Intensive farming involves various types of agriculture with higher levels of input and output per cubic unit of agricultural land area.
It is characterized by a low fallow ratio, higher use of inputs such as capital and labour, and higher crop yields per cubic unit land area.
This contrasts with traditional agriculture, in which the inputs per unit land are lower. and efficiency in farm production over the last half century, a period during which most people took for granted, almost as a birthright, ample supplies of affordable fossil energy.