How much agriculture is used for livestock


Livestock takes up nearly 80% of global agricultural land, yet produces less than 20% of the world’s supply of calories (as shown in the visualization). This means that what we eat is more important than how much we eat in determining the amount of land required to produce our food.Oct 3, 2017

What percentage of agricultural land is used for livestock?

 · Half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture. More than three-quarters of this is used for livestock production, despite meat and dairy making up a much smaller share of the world’s protein and calorie supply. by Hannah Ritchie November 11, 2019

What percentage of crops are used to feed animals?

Livestock production is the largest land user on earth (directly or indirectly) and uses about 30% of the earth’s entire land surface, and subsistence farming is part of this land use in many developing countries across the globe, and in many part of the world, it is one of the main contributors to deforestation (Pan et al., 2007 ).

How much water do livestock use?

 · This publication gives estimates of land use, livestock populations and the agricultural workforce for England from the June Survey of Agriculture and Horticulture run by the Department for …

How much land is used to grow animal feed?

 · The 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population. — HERBIVORES ON THE HOOF. Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption.


What percentage of land is used for livestock?

A 212-page online report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says 26 percent of the earth’s terrestrial surface is used for livestock grazing. One-third of the planet’s arable land is occupied by livestock feed crop cultivation.

What total percent is used for agriculture and pasture for livestock?

Twenty-six percent of the Planet’s ice-free land is used for livestock grazing and 33 percent of croplands are used for livestock feed production. Livestock contribute to seven percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions through enteric fermentation and manure.

What percent of the world’s land is used for crops and livestock?

Global trends Globally agricultural land area is approximately five billion hectares, or 38 percent of the global land surface. About one-third of this is used as cropland, while the remaining two-thirds consist of meadows and pastures) for grazing livestock.

What percentage of land is used for meat production?

Nearly 60% of the world’s agricultural land is used for beef production, yet beef accounts for less than 2% of the calories that are consumed throughout the world. Beef makes up 24% of the world’s meat consumption, yet requires 30 million square kilometres of land to produce.

How much more land does it take to raise animals than plants?

And it does so more efficiently. This is because plant-based agriculture uses 115 million acres less land. While animal agriculture generates about $35 billion more than plant agriculture, the expenses generated by animal agriculture are considerably higher—about $55.8 billion more than in plant farming.

Is livestock part of agriculture?

Livestock agriculture is concerned with raising and maintaining livestock, primarily for the purposes of producing meat, milk, and eggs.

What percentage of plant production goes to animal consumption?

Share All sharing options for: How much of the world’s cropland is actually used to grow food? Just 55 percent of the world’s crop calories are actually eaten directly by people. Another 36 percent is used for animal feed. And the remaining 9 percent goes toward biofuels and other industrial uses.

What percent of land is used for cattle grazing?

Of that 50 percent, 77 percent is used for livestock, either as land for grazing or land to grow animal feed. However, despite taking up such a giant percentage of agricultural land, meat and dairy only make up 17 percent of global caloric supply and 33 percent of global protein supply.

Is there enough land to feed the world?

Hypothetically, at least, we could feed the population of two Earths without clearing a single new acre of land. Here’s how we’d get there. There are around 7.8 billion people on the planet now, and each needs about 1.4 kilograms of food on average per day, not including water.

What percentage of food is meat?

I have found that 5.04% of the American diet is meat, 7.09% is chicken, 1.05% is fish and 8.9% is vegetables.

How much land does it take to feed a cow?

Cows require a considerable amount of space when compared to other livestock. “You want at least an acre per cow,” Robbins said. “If they’re going to have a baby, you want two acres for a cow-calf pair. That’s the minimum amount of land.”

Is there enough land for everyone?

Habitable vs uninhabitable land Physically, the land can easily accommodate 11 billion people – there are around 13.4 billion hectares of ice-free land. But large tracts of land remain virtually uninhabitable due to their climate or their remote location: Enormous tracts of Siberia are too inhospitable to be lived upon …

How does livestock help in developing countries?

Animals are valued for their hides and skins, and they provide manure, which helps to replenish soil fertility. For many rural farmers, livestock are a “living bank” and serve as a financial reserve during periods of economic distress. The development of the livestock sector would not only help developing countries to achieve self-sufficiency in animal products, but also prevent the migration of rural poor to urban areas in search of supposed economic benefits.

What is the role of livestock in the economy?

Livestock and crop production are major elements of support to the economy of most developing countries and provide livelihood for a significant proportion of the population. However, this production is highly dependent on the rural population. According to FAO, nearly 25% of the gross domestic product (GDP) derives from agriculture in many of the least developed countries. Furthermore, farmers in Latin America generate more agriculture value added than in other developing regions. 1

What is the main livestock production system?

Livestock production systems in most developed countries generally include conventional feeding and natural or organic feeding systems ( Erasmus and Webb, 2013; Webb and Erasmus, 2013 ). Conventional feeding systems use different combinations of pasture or extensive grazing, and intensive fattening with concentrates that may include different raw materials and feed additives. The use of antimicrobials in the feed and hormonal growth implants is not admissible in the European Union and there are strict regulations about the use of such technologies in counties that export meat to the European Union.

How does diet affect livestock production?

Diet plays a major role in enhancing the efficiency of production in all animals. Energy and protein are the major nutrients required in the greatest amounts and should be the highest priority for optimizing reproduction and health in farm animals. Vitamins and minerals cannot be neglected either and must be balanced in the diet. There is also important evidence on the particular effects of physical activity on the health and reproductive capacity of livestock species. In farm animals, locomotion has been identified as a prerequisite for several behaviors. Physical activity is influenced by a wide variety of factors, for example, space per individual.

Why is more land needed for deforestation?

Because of this, more land needs to be cleared from forest contributing to deforestation. Additionally, more water resources are required to meet such a demand.

What is the largest land use?

Livestock production is the largest land user on earth (directly or indirectly) and uses about 30% of the earth’s entire land surface, and subsistence farming is part of this land use in many developing countries across the globe, and in many part of the world, it is one of the main contributors to deforestation (Pan et al., 2007 ). Feed requirement links livestock production with land use which depends upon the type of feed used by livestock in a particular region ( Herrero et al., 2013 ). In some countries, up to 85% of agricultural land is used for livestock production and contributes to a significant proportion of agricultural GDP ( Table 1 ). In the last 200 years, grazing land expanded sixfold including areas in North America, South America, and Australia, where little or no livestock grazing occurred previously ( Asner et al., 2004 ). Currently grazing land occupies about 26% of the global land area, and about 33% of all crop land is used for animal feed production ( Steinfeld et al., 2006 ). Such a large allocation of land area for livestock production needs to be balanced with environmental services, biodiversity conservation, and socioeconomic developments.

How does livestock affect the environment?

Livestock production is globally responsible for the negative impact on the environment and consequently on climate change. Deforestation, reduced biodiversity, land degradation, and dependence of chemical fertilizer to maintain biomass production are considered the main drivers that make this system unsustainable in time. Silvopastoral systems (SPSs), which include trees, shrubs, and grasses, are considered sustainable alternatives to restore soil fertility and biodiversity, increase forage and wood biomass, promote animal welfare, diversify income, and meet food security needs associated with environment conservation in agriculture and livestock ecosystems. Several types of SPSs could be an option for different agricultural and livestock or ecosystems scenarios according to the climate, soil, tree, and shrub species, land use, animal species, and farming system. In this chapter, SPS experiences were described by three cases studies: (1) Brazil, where the natural regeneration of native trees was used to implement SPSs, (2) Colombia, where SPSs were applied to promote sustainable livestock production, ecologic restoration, ecosystem services, and protection of aquatic systems, and (3) México, where a participatory approach was used as a strategy for implementation of SPSs. For all the cases studies, livestock plays not only an important role in the economy, but also in society and the environment.

How much water does animal agriculture use?

Animal agriculture is a leading consumer of water resources in the United States, Pimentel noted. Grain-fed beef production takes 100,000 liters of water for every kilogram of food. Raising broiler chickens takes 3,500 liters of water to make a kilogram of meat. In comparison, soybean production uses 2,000 liters for kilogram of food produced;

How does the American system of farming grain-fed livestock affect the world food supply?

MONTREAL — From one ecologist’s perspective, the American system of farming grain-fed livestock consumes resources far out of proportion to the yield, accelerates soil erosion, affects world food supply and will be changing in the future.

What would happen if all the grain now fed to livestock were exported?

If all the U.S. grain now fed to livestock were exported and if cattlemen switched to grass-fed production systems , less beef would be available and animal protein in the average American diet would drop from 75 grams to 29 grams per day.

How much water does beef use?

Every kilogram of beef produced takes 100,000 liters of water. Some 900 liters of water go into producing a kilogram of wheat. Potatoes are even less “thirsty,” at 500 liters per kilogram. — HOME ON THE RANGE.

How much protein is fed to livestock?

Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption. About 26 million tons of the livestock feed comes from grains and 15 million tons from forage crops.

How much soil erosion does livestock cause?

Livestock are directly or indirectly responsible for much of the soil erosion in the United States, the ecologist determined. On lands where feed grain is produced, soil loss averages 13 tons per hectare per year. Pasture lands are eroding at a slower pace, at an average of 6 tons per hectare per year. But erosion may exceed 100 tons on severely overgrazed pastures, and 54 percent of U.S. pasture land is being overgrazed.

How much energy does chicken use?

Chicken meat production consumes energy in a 4:1 ratio to protein output; beef cattle production requires an energy input to protein output ratio of 54:1. (Lamb meat production is nearly as inefficient at 50:1, according to the ecologist’s analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.

What percentage of land is used for livestock?

According to some estimates, 70 to 80% of agricultural land is used for livestock, and only about 20 to 30% for crops.

How much land does beef cattle use?

Beef cattle [produce the world’s beef] using about 30 million square kilometers ( km2 ) of land—27 million of that for grazing, and the rest for the feed and forage they eat.

What is arable land used for?

Some arable land is used to grow crops (such as corn, barley, oats, soy, and so on) that become feed for livestock (instead of going straight to human consumption), which technically means it’s part of the total land being used for livestock production.

What are the two types of agricultural land?

Different Types Of Agricultural Land. The two main types of agricultural land are: – Pasture/grazing/range land (also referred to as meadows) Used for livestock rearing and animal product production. – Arable/cropland (also referred to as cultivated land) Used for crop production.

What is land used for agriculture?

Land used for agricultural production (like livestock and crop production) is referred to as agricultural land

How much of the world’s land is cropped?

At present some 11 percent (1.5 billion ha) of the globe’s land surface (13.4 billion ha) is used in crop production (arable land and land under permanent crops). This area represents slightly over a third (36 percent) of the land estimated to be to some degree suitable for crop production.

What is the majority of the world’s cultivated land used for?

When looking specifically at arable land and cropland, majority of the world’s cultivated land is used for crops that need to be replanted compared to crops that don’t need to be replanted.

How much land is used for agriculture?

Globally agricultural land area is approximately five billion hectares, or 38 percent of the global land surface. About one-third of this is used as cropland, while the remaining two-thirds consist of meadows and pastures) for grazing livestock.

What is the distribution of agricultural land?

Regional distribution of agricultural land use is a combination of local agri-climatic edaphic – soil –conditions, and socio-economic drivers. Averaged over the decade between 2007 and 2016, the largest share of agricultural land area was in Asia, accounting for 1.6 global hectares (gha) or 34 percent, followed by the Americas (1.2 gha, or 25 percent) and Africa (1.1 gha, 24 percent), with Europe and Oceania representing each about 9-10 percent of the total.

Which country has the most irrigated land?

The two countries with the largest irrigated cropland area were India and China, with about 68 Mha each, followed by the United States (27 Mha), Pakistan (20 Mha) and Iran (9 Mha).

Why is land important for agriculture?

Land – a notion which broadly includes climate, topography, vegetation, soils and other natural resources – is the basis for agriculture, and the interaction between these components is vital for determining the productivity and sustainability of agro-ecosystems. Especially in the face of climate change and variability, selecting the right land uses for given biophysical and socio-economic conditions is essential for minimizing land degradation, rehabilitating degraded land, ensuring the sustainable use of land resources, and maximizing resilience.

Which region has the most land area for irrigation?

In terms of irrigation capacity, the region with the largest land area equipped for irrigation over the past decade was by far Asia, with 237 mega hectares (mha), or 70 percent of the world’s total, followed by the Americas (52 mha, or 16 percent), Europe (26 mha, 8 percent), Africa (15 mha, 5 percent) and Oceania (3 mha, 1 percent).

What is livestock water?

Livestock water use is water associated with livestock watering, feedlots, dairy operations, and other on-farm needs. Livestock includes dairy cows and heifers, beef cattle and calves, sheep and lambs, goats, hogs and pigs, horses, and poultry. Other livestock water uses include cooling of facilities for the animals and products, dairy sanitation and wash down of facilities, animal waste-disposal systems, and incidental water losses. The livestock category excludes on-farm domestic use, lawn and garden watering, and irrigation water use.

What is the USGS water use?

The USGS works in cooperation with local, State, and Federal agencies to collect water-use information, then compiles these data to produce water-use information aggregated at the county, state, and national levels.

What is aquaculture water?

Status: Active. Aquaculture Water Use. Aquaculture water use is water associated with raising organisms that live in water—such as finfish and shellfish— for food, restoration, conservation, or sport.

What is irrigation water used for?

Irrigation water use includes water that is applied by an irrigation system to sustain plant growth in agricultural and horticultural practices . Irrigation also includes water that is used for pre-irrigation, frost protection, chemical application, weed control, field preparation, crop cooling, harvesting, dust suppression, and leaching salts from the root zone. Estimates of irrigation…

How can farmers increase agricultural productivity?

Farmers could increase agricultural productivity by boosting crop yields — either through new farming techniques or through improved crop genetics. But even if the rapid rate of improvement in crop yields over the 20th century continued, that still wouldn’t produce enough food for everyone. Another possibility, as the map above shows, is …

What percentage of soy goes to animal feed?

By contrast, more than 67 percent of crops — particularly all the soy grown in the Midwest — goes to animal feed. And a portion of the rest goes to ethanol and other biofuels. Some of that animal feed eventually becomes food, obviously — but it’s a much, much more indirect process. It takes about 100 calories of grain to produce just 12 calories …

How much of the world’s crop calories are eaten by humans?

Just 55% of the world’s crop calories are directly eaten by people. Just 55 percent of the world’s crop calories are actually eaten directly by people. Another 36 percent is used for animal feed. And the remaining 9 percent goes toward biofuels and other industrial uses.

Is animal feed efficient?

And animal feed is also an inefficient way of feeding people — about one-tenth as efficient, on a calorie basis, as eating crops directly. One implication of that is that, as countries like China and India grow and consume more milk and meat, the pressure on global farmland will grow.


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