Main content area

Livestock-derived greenhouse gas emissions in a diversified grazing system in the endangered Pampa biome, Southern Brazil

Vasconcelos, Kaio, Farinha, Maycon, Bernardo, Luciana, do N. Lampert, Vinicius, Gianezini, Miguelangelo, da Costa, Jaqueline Severino, Filho, Adelsom Soares, Genro, Teresa Cristina Moraes, Ruviaro, Clandio Favarini
Land use policy 2018 v.75 pp. 442-448
beef cattle, carbon dioxide, cattle production, climate change, ecosystems, food production, genetic resources, grasses, grazing systems, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, management systems, pastures, pollination, production technology, slaughter weight, stocking rate, water conservation, water resources, Brazil
Discussions about climate change have repeatedly regarded livestock as responsible for a significant contribution of greenhouse gas emissions. However, proper management schemes for livestock production may contribute to a reduction in emissions and, at the same time, induce optimization of production systems and intensification of food production. In addition, it contributes to the preservation of the local biome, since it promotes the maintenance of services related to the conservation of water resources, pollination, and provision of genetic resources, among others, which help in the development of economic activities. Therefore, this study aims to analyze beef cattle production in the southern region of Brazil, in the western region of Rio Grande do Sul state, focusing on the three most used grass management systems in the Pampa biome: Native Pasture, Fertilized Native Pasture and Improved Native Pasture. Combinations between the systems were made, resulting in different stocking rate/hectare, age, slaughter weights and greenhouse gas emissions of animals. The interpolation between Native Pasture and Fertilized Native Pasture or Improved Native Pasture showed that changes in grazing system lead to a reduction of approximately 29% in equivalent CO2 emissions per kg of live animal weight. The results point to some possible actions that allow a reduction of the main greenhouse gases arising from livestock production in that biome. Results also evidence that management adaptations contribute to the maintenance of the Pampa biome characteristics.