Rutger's English Blogg

Methane and cows 2013-05-13

Publicerad 2013-05-13 21:05:24 i Allmänt

The headline in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet is: Replace beef with swine and chicken would be a disaster

It states, "A resource-conserving agriculture based on humus-building ley (extended cultivation) with nitrogen-fixing crops and fodder whose value is refined by grazing animals such as cows and sheep. Improved grassland means that carbon sequestration in soil. Ley humus-building properties can eliminate climate impact from ruminants. This applies in particular those cattle that are not driven to excess by using too much concentrate in the form of grain and imported soy protein. The cows and other ruminants such as sheep and goats eat the fiber-rich, soil fertility-building forage plants such as clover and grass in the long term is necessary to maintain the balance of humus soils. The cows refines it for us humans not edible for both milk and meat and recirculates back valuable organic fertilizer. "

"Feed production to livestock reared by conventionally grown cereals a burden on the climate through the production and use of fertilizers and other inputs that require fossil energy. Cereal monoculture without ley is devastating for the environment also by humus supply in the soil decomposes and the carbon content contributes to global warming, while soils fertility declines. Much of today's grain production goes to today's one-sided and in certain regions concentrated feeding and slaughter of pig and chicken production, whose manure surplus also over fertilize oceans with reactive nitrogen and phosphorus in addition to damage to biodiversity, ranks as one of the greatest environmental problems. "

He is saying that grasslands means carbon sequestration. Common fields decreases soil carbon, bacteria converts humus in the fields to CO2.

The grass cow grazing becomes both carbon dioxide, methane and meat. The methane will be after a few years oxidized to CO2 in the atmosphere. This carbon will eventually be grass through photosynthesis. And the grass also store carbon in the soil. The grasslands are building up a stock of carbon in the soil through the roots.

It's fun to read a scientist who really know their subject as opposed to those that only focus on one thing that Elin Röös do with the methane from organically raised livestock. Link to meat guide.

The article is written by Artur Granstedt  associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.





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