Environmental Impact Assessment of Landless Livestock Production System

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    Livestock and theEnvironment

    Finding a Balance

    Environmental impact assessment of landless livestock ruminant

    production systems

    J. De Wit

    P.T. Westra

    A.J. Nell

    International Agriculture Center

    Wageningen, the Netherlands

    January, 1996

    Study Sponsors

    Commission of the European Union

    Denmark

    France (Ministre de la Coopration)Germany (Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Technische Zusammenarbeit - GTZ)

    Netherlands

    United Kingdom (Overseas Development Administration)

    United States (Environmental Protection Agency)

    Study Coordination by:

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    United States (U.S. Agency for International Development)

    World Bank

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    Livestock and theEnvironment

    Finding a Balance

    Environmental impact assessment of landless livestock ruminantproduction systems

    J. De Wit

    P.T. Westra

    A.J. Nell

    International Agriculture Center

    Wageningen, the Netherlands

    January, 1996

    Preface

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    This report is part of a comprehensive study on 'Interactions between Livestock ProductionSystems and the Environment - Global Perspectives and Prospects'. The study is undertakenon the initiative of and financed of a group of donor countries. The Food and AgricultureOrganization is the main contractor and components of the study have been subcontracted todifferent organizations and institutes in the donor countries.

    The International Agriculture Centre (IAC) in Wageningen in the Netherlands has beensubcontracted to implement the following 5 components of the study:1. Management of waste from animal product processing.2. Environmental impact of animal manure management.3. Environmental impact assessment of landless monogastric production systems.4. Environmental impact assessment of landless livestock ruminant systems.5. Environmental impact assessment of mixed irrigated systems in the (sub-)humid zones.

    The team for the implementation of the study at the IAC is composed of:- A.J. Nell Project Coordinator, Senior Livestock Officer of the IAC.- J. de Wit Team Leader, Livestock Production Specialist of the IAC.

    The following authors contributed to the individual studies:- L.A.H.M. Verheyen, D. Wiersema and L.W. Hulshoff-Pol Management of waste from animal product processing- P. Brandjes Animal manure management- P.J. Westra Landless ruminants production systems- J.F.F.P. Bos Landless monogastrics systems- J.C.M. Jansen Mixed irrigated systems in the humid zones

    The IAC set up a Reference Committee for the implementation of this study with thefollowing members:- Prof. Dr. D. Zwart Professor of Tropical Animal Production, Wageningen Agricultural

    University.- Prof.Dr. H. van Keulen Professor of Sustainable Animal Production, Wageningen

    Agricultural University.- Prof. Dr. J.H. Koeman Professor of Toxicology, Wageningen Agricultural University.- Dr. H.A.J. Moll Senior Economist, Department of Development Economics,

    Wageningen Agricultural University.- H.G. van der Meer Department Head, Grassland and Vegetation Science of the Research

    Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility, Wageningen.

    We would like to thank everybody who in some form have contributed to this study.

    The authors,

    Wageningen, January 1996.

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    CONTENTS

    Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .iContents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ii

    Tables and figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iiiAbbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...iv

    1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................1

    2. The landless livestock ruminant production systems............................................................12.1. Definition of LLR systems ..........................................................................................22.2. Description of the subsystems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    42.2.1. Beef fattening in feedlots .....................................................................................4

    2.2.2. Veal production...................................................................................................62.2.3. Sheep fattening....................................................................................................82.2.4. Large-scale beef production in EE and the CIS ....................................................92.2.5. Urban dairy farming...........................................................................................10

    2.3. Statistics of livestock production in LLR and trends in production ............................112.3.1. Beef fattening in feedlots in the USA.................................................................112.3.2. Veal production.................................................................................................112.3.3. Sheep fattening in WANA .................................................................................132.3.4. Large-scale beef production in EE and the CIS ..................................................132.3.5. Urban dairy sector.............................................................................................14

    2.4. Causes and motives...................................................................................................143. Livestock-Environment interactions..................................................................................15

    3.1. General description and concepts ..............................................................................153.2. Relevance and size of interactions.............................................................................18

    3.2.1. Introduction ......................................................................................................183.2.2. Nutrient excretion and manure management ......................................................18 3.2.2.1. Nutrient excretion.........................................................................................18 3.2.2.2. Manure management ....................................................................................19 3.2.2.3. Heavy metals................................................................................................203.2.3. Methane production ..........................................................................................20

    3.2.3.1 Methane emission from the ruminant digestive process................................21

    3.2.3.2 Methane emission from manure...................................................................223.2.3.3 Overall effect of landless ruminants on global warming................................233.2.4. Concentrates demand ........................................................................................233.2.5. Rangelands........................................................................................................243.2.6. Animal genetic resources...................................................................................253.2.7. Contaminations of LLR products and food safety ..............................................253.2.8. Demand for energy............................................................................................273.2.9. Waste from processing of animal products.........................................................28 3.2.9.1. Waste from the slaughter process .................................................................29 3.2.9.2. Waste from tanneries ....................................................................................29 3.2.9.3. Waste from dairy plants................................................................................30

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    3.2.10. Biodiversity.....................................................................................................30

    4. Options for improvement..................................................................................................314.1. Technological options...............................................................................................314.2. Policy options ...........................................................................................................32

    5. Conclusions......................................................................................................................34

    6. References........................................................................................................................37

    Annex 1. Manure excretion in LLR ..................................................................................452. Concentrates feeding in LLR .............................................................................47

    TABLES