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While Dutch livestock producers did indeed reduce antibiotic use dramatically following government policy, and have since adapted management systems to cope with this regime, there were certainly intermediate negative impacts on calf mortality and herd productivity. The lesson is that changing management systems is possible, but sufficient time needs to be allowed for adaptation in order to avoid negative impacts.
Rabobank: Livestock Antibiotics Minimums Proved Sustainable In Netherlands
Meat + Poultry | May 15, 2018
Rabobank recently published information about moving toward a sustainable minimum for livestock antibiotics. According to the Dutch company, farmers in the Netherlands have reduced antibiotics in livestock farming without negatively impacting overall economic and technical farm performance. The details were displayed in its report titled, "Breaking the habit: Antibiotic Reduction in Livestock Farming."
"In mainstream animal protein production, a sustainable minimum for antibiotics usage is the carefully formulated answer to a complex equation of preventing antimicrobial resistance, maintaining efficiency in production, improving animal welfare, and satisfying consumer demand," said Karen Heuvelmans, industry analyst of farm inputs at Rabobank.
It was also reported that Dutch livestock saw a 64 percent reduction in antibiotic use in 2016 after implementing these policies
This article is clearly aimed at the public at large, not industry, but looking beyond the tone, Driskill's investment in "blockchain calves" is part of the revolution in traceability and supply chain transparency that is now taking place.
Free Range Beef Bound By the Blockchain
Michael del Castillo, Forbes | May 17, 2018
In many ways, Wyoming Senator Ogden Driskill is an unlikely candidate to be leading the blockchain revolution in his home state. His family have been ranchers since the early 1800s, and "delivered cattle to both sides of the Civil War," as he put it in a recent interview with Forbes.
His grandchildren are the eighth generation of Driskills to live in the shadow of Devils Tower, America's first national monument, and in 2015 he registered 5,000 acres of his family's land, called Campstool Ranch, for an agricultural conservation easement designed to protect its wildlife and open spaces in perpetuity.
But in other ways the senator, who earlier this year introduced a series of sweeping bills designed to recognize crypto–assets on a blockchain and more, is the perfect leader.
Those of you who were at the global conference on sustainable beef in Banff in 2016 may remember John Cain Carter making the point that deforestation in Brazil is driven by economics – cleared land is worth more than forest. Cattle occupy less land in the Brazil than 30 years ago, while crops have expanded enormously, though cattle have continued to be the first enterprise on recently cleared land.
Brazil Has The Tools To End Amazon Deforestation Now: Report
Giovanni Ortolani, Mongabay | May 18, 2018
Brazil has no reason to further deforest the Amazon, as there is plenty of degraded land available for agribusiness growth and profit. This is the positive pragmatic message put forth in "A Pathway to Zero Deforestation in the Amazon," a report first launched at COP23 in Bonn, Germany, last November, by the Zero Deforestation Working Group (ZDWG), a coalition of NGO analysts from Greenpeace, Instituto Centro de Vida, Imaflora, Imazon, Instituto Socioambiental, Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The document's aim is to illustrate workable strategies for eliminating Amazon deforestation in the short term, with environmental, economic and social benefits for all.
Mauro Lúcio Costa has also presented to the GCSB and, like John Carter is a rancher leading sustainability efforts in Brazil. What he is saying is that more intensive management makes herds more productive – not surprising to some, but still novel to others in a country where some of the most extensive operations are essentially harvesting rather than managing their cattle. The point is made again that cleared land is simply worth much more than forest.
One Small Rancher's Big Role in Saving Brazil's Amazon
Paulo Trevisani, The Wall Street Journal | May 19, 2018
Mr. Costa, who has 2,500 head of cattle, says he now produces 750 pounds of meat per acre, up from 151 pounds 15 years ago, and he has been able to keep 80% of his land covered with forest, as mandated by law. "When I say, 'You can get more beef out of the same land,' they say I'm crazy," said Mr. Costa, as he drove across farmland on a recent sweltering day. "I feel like a Martian."
Here in the rain forest, the animals are smaller, feeding on blades of low–quality grass. At a slaughterhouse run by JBS SA in Pará state, the average animal weighed a slim 550 pounds, 150 pounds less than cows raised in feedlots in other parts of Brazil where the company also has plants.
At the JBS slaughterhouse recently, plant workers stamped "A" for "absent fat" on the carcasses, indicating they are below industry standards. The meatpacker pays extra for an animal with a full fat coverage, but that is hard to find in this region, said Márcio Nappo, JBS's sustainability chief executive.