Livestock

Did you know that 5% of sheep farmers and
35% of beef farmers say they are experiencing the effects of climate change now? And nearly 60% of livestock farmers say they expect to feel it in the next ten years?

More than other agricultural sectors, the livestock industry has felt the repercussions of the increased interest in emissions from farming and food. For beef and sheep farmers in particular, the big issue is methane. Methane is released from the digestive systems of ruminant livestock and from manures and slurries. This issue has been in the headlines recently and demonstrates how these issues (though often over-simplistically communicated) can capture the public’s attention. Although we cannot eliminate methane production from farming, it can be reduced through optimising the health, diet and breeding of beef and sheep. All farmers and growers can explore the potential for renewable energy generation. See our Renewables section for more information.

The great news is that over a third of livestock farmers are taking action to adapt to the changing climate. 44% of sheep farmers and 45 per cent % of beef farmers report that they are doing something to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their farm.

Are you part of the growing community that is taking action?

We’ve listed the fact sheets and case studies we feel would be most relevant to your work below.  You can see a full list of our resources here and it may also be useful for you to use our Interactive Google map to get up to date information and advice for your region.

Read our beef and sheep factsheet by clicking here.

Livestock - Blogs

  • Thu, 23/03/2017 - 10:26
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    The suckler herd – an important segment of the EU livestock sector – is a key player, not only because it provides more than one third of the beef consumed in the EU, but also for its strategic role in very specific EU areas, –...
  • Tue, 21/03/2017 - 13:12
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    The European badger (Meles meles) is of considerable interest in the UK as it is both a protected species and the main wildlife reservoir for bovine tuberculosis infection in cattle. While there have been three national badger surveys in the 1980s,...
  • Mon, 20/03/2017 - 07:02
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    This study compared continuous grazing (CG) to an innovative rotational grazing system (the biodiversity-friendly rotation – BR), where a subplot was excluded from grazing for two months during the main flowering period. The effects of grazing...
  • Fri, 17/03/2017 - 14:12
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    New work from a joint team of plant biologists and ecologists from Carnegie and Stanford University has uncovered the factor behind an important innovation that makes grasses -- both the kind that make up native prairies and the kind we've...
  • Thu, 16/03/2017 - 16:17
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    Livestock producers across the country are being urged to submit lambs with suspected Schmallenberg virus (SBV) for post-mortem examination as the number of confirmed cases continues to grow. Lambing flocks across the country have experienced higher...

Livestock - Case Studies

Stephen Ramsden: Focus on wind energyLong before much of the farming world had acknowledged the benefits of renewable energy, Stephen Ramsden and his family took the plunge of installing...
Miles and Gail Fursdon: Focus on renewable energyMiles and Gail Fursdon created a micro-hydro system on their farm in 1995, using the power of the falling water to generate electricity. The...
J Hawley and Sons: Focus on BiodiversityLocated just outside Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, Julia and Ian Hawley have created an oasis for wildlife. With only minimal investment they have...