Alberta Emission Offset System: Quantification protocol for reducing the age at harvest of beef cattle

Sadie S

Agricultural activities like the production of livestock result in a lot of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Beef cattle release a large amount of methane (CH4) as a result of digesting feed materials in the rumen; these are enteric fermentation emissions. Manure storage and handling in beef cattle operations can also be a significant source of GHG emissions – CH4 and nitrous oxide (N20) emissions. This protocol quantifies decreases in GHG emissions from the raising of beef cattle by reducing the number of days required for a feeder calf to get from birth to harvest. This applies to young cattle or those under 2 years of age. Feeder cattle that spend less time in backgrounding lots, pasture and in the feedlot produce fewer GHG emissions.

Alberta Environment – Climate Change Secretariat