As we all know, beef production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the sustainability of the process could greatly impact climate change directly. To put it in simple terms, the cow’s farts release heavy amounts of gases that negatively impact the atmosphere. However, researchers are taking steps to really understand if there is more to it than that.
They’ve begun using computers and computer modelling to map out the process of beef production. From the growth of feed, to raising the cattle, to processing the meat from the animal, researchers are seeking to understand which steps within that process can be changed in order to be more sustainable. It really could be a more complex picture than just the farts the cow is emitting. By digging into each step of the beef production cycle, scientists and farmers can take extra measures to reduce emissions and ultimately impact climate change.
Not only will this help impact climate change, but it will give insight into how the process as a whole truly effects green house gases in our atmosphere. It will give a more detailed picture of how beef production is impacting the air we breathe and layers of air that protect us from the sun. By undergoing these studies and research, experts can compare quantified results with the results from previous studies, deducing differences in the practices.
Part of the research team conducting this study is Marty Matlock. Hes the director of sustainability at the University of Arkansas. He says, “They [The beef industry] want to improve efficiency and reduce impacts in a way that is driven by outcomes and informed by science.”