Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The environmental and economic impact of removing productivity-enhancing technologies from U.S. beef production

What would happen if U.S. beef farmers and ranchers no longer used productivity-enhancing technologies to
raise beef cattle? To produce the same amount of beef they do today, every year:
• 10 million more cattle would be required in the U.S. beef herd
• 3 million more fed cattle would need to be harvested
• 81 million more tons of feed would be needed
• 17 million more acres of land would be needed for grazing and growing feed
• 138 billion more gallons of water would be required for producing feed and maintaining animals
• 18 million more metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2
eq) would be released in the United States alone

Information from the latest factsheet posted at

J.L. Capper, capper@wsu.edu
D.J. Hayes, dhayes@iastate.edu