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Sustainable beef production is a challenge in the semi-arid rangeland environments of the Southwest. Climate change may reduce the ability of these ecosystems to support herds of large-frame breeds that dominate the American cattle industry.
As temperatures rise, farmers are being forced to adapt, experimenting with new breeds and cooling methods.
Sustainable SW Beef scientist Al Rotz featured in New York Times: “For the U.S., we’re probably not adding methane to the atmosphere” from livestock, Dr. Rotz said. “But you add more methane as you add more animals, as we are doing globally.”
A major challenge with manure is distributing it over long distances between where it is produced and where it is needed. American scientists say that is where the concept of manuresheds can help.
Interest in direct marketing of beef to consumers has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the retail food supply chain.
New Mexico State University is participating in gathering information to help understand how producers make decision regarding their cattle operations.
NMSU received an $8.9 million grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study ways to improve the sustainability of beef production in the Southwest.
Globally, there is a widening gap between the supply and demand for livestock products as consumption increases (particularly in developing regions) while productivity levels are dwindling. In order to address this disparity, ranchers all over the world have chosen to integrate cattle tracking and management systems into their operations.