Leading Expert Frank Mitloehner Debunks Myths About US Animal Agriculture's Environmental ImpactWed, 23 Jan 2019 18:09:55 CST
Dr. Frank Mitloehner is one of the top experts in the world when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and animal agriculture. He’s a professor at the University of California Davis. Fellow farm broadcaster, Ken Root, originally from Oklahoma and now broadcasting out of Iowa, talked to Mitloehner recently and he says it is important to understand that here in the United States, we don’t have a greenhouse gas emission problem with our animal agriculture. He clarifies that when people start talking about it - they are really talking about the global numbers.
“You have to separate global from national. Globally, livestock contributes about 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions - such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide,” Mitloehner said. “In the United States, all of livestock contributes about 3.9 percent. The vast majority of greenhouse gases in the country comes from the use of fossil fuels.”
Essentially, Mitloehner says this misconception suggests that livestock are largely responsible for atmospheric pollution here in the US. But in fact, the opposite is true. He contends that US producers have actually done an astounding job at reversing the ag industry’s carbon footprint on the environment - producing more with less and at the same time limiting its overall environmental impact.
“I think we have done an unbelievable job in maintaining or even improving the performance of our animals while at the same time, shrinking herds,” he explained. “We have never had fewer livestock than we have today. We have unprecedented improvement in efficiencies that directly correlate with environmental impact.”
Listen to Mitloehner as he debunks the myth that the US ag industry has a greenhouse gas emission problem, with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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