Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Effect of diet in cattle on N and P emissions to the environment

25.08.2003



Over the last decade the market has had a tendency to value food products that are healthy and safe and encourage healthy lifestyles, with the added parameter that their associated production processes are environmentally sound. In the case of systems of cattle production the current and future aim is the obtaining of a quality product within an environmentally and economically sustainable framework.

Both objectives ultimately depend on animal feeding. The composition of the diet can have repercussions both on the product quality and on the effect the system of production has on the environment; and in such a way that we can approach these objectives manipulating the general composition of the diet.

Basing ourselves on the principle that “we are what we eat” and translating it to animal production systems, we can assume that diet changes are related to changes in the quality of the product and in the environmental impact of the production process itself. It is well known that vegetable protein is poorly taken advantage of by animals, given that a large part of the Nitrogen is excreted to the surroundings. Thus, for cattle, the efficiency of conversion of vegetable protein to animal protein is less than 20% for meat and 25% for milk. Cattle farmers will have to consider new feeding strategies which take into account long- and short-term effects on the environment. All this will lead to high quality agroenvironmental systems which will confer greater commercial value to the products derived.



An increase in the efficiency of animal protein production, whether for milk or meat, would imply a positive result by diminishing nitrogen contamination into the surroundings. A similar evaluation can be made concerning Phosphorous. Such management in animal production involves both optimising the feed diet to the needs of the herd as well as identifying the residues thus produced. These can be reused on the farm itself in a sustainable way, i.e., minimally interfering with the N, P and C cycles.

To this end the Neiker Department of Agrosystems and Animal Production has initiated a project which aims to study the effect of different levels of feeding of milk cattle on the quality of the milk, on the composition of excreted material, and on the emission of greenhouse-effect gases (CO2, N2O and CH4). Sampling of a representative number of cattle farms in Bizkaia is currently being carried out. After these trials the idea is to assess the levels of efficient use of N and P using different methods and production levels. Thus, parameters about the most suitable feed strategies can be obtained in order to achieve quality products and minimise the impact of cattle farming on the environment.

Notes

Researchers: Merino P, Martinez J, Rosell M, Ruiz R, Garro J, Nafarrate L, Pinto M

Contact :
Pilar Merino Pereda
NEIKER AB
pmerino@neiker.net
(+34) 94 4034328

Garazi Andonegi | Basque research
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making Waves

Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.

Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanostructures taste the rainbow

29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique unveils 'matrix' inside tissues and tumors

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways

29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>