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Library Global food supply: land use efficiency of livestock systems

Global food supply: land use efficiency of livestock systems

Global food supply: land use efficiency of livestock systems

Resource information

Date of publication
December 2016
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

PURPOSE: Livestock already use most global agricultural land, whereas the demand for animal-source food (ASF) is expected to increase. To address the contribution of livestock to global food supply, we need a measure for land use efficiency of livestock systems. METHODS: Existing measures capture different aspects of the debate about land use efficiency of livestock systems, such as plant productivity and the efficiency of converting feed, especially human-inedible feed, into animal products. So far, the suitability of land for cultivation of food crops has not been accounted for. Our land use ratio (LUR) includes all above-mentioned aspects and yields a realistic insight into land use efficiency of livestock systems. LUR is defined as the maximum amount of human-digestible protein (HDP) derived from food crops on all land used to cultivate feed required to produce 1 kg ASF over the amount of HDP in that 1 kg ASF. We illustrated our concept for three case systems. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The LUR for the case of laying hens equaled 2.08, implying that land required to produce 1 kg HDP from laying hens could directly yield 2.08 kg HDP from human food crops. For dairy cows, the LUR was 2.10 when kept on sandy soils and 0.67 when kept on peat soils. The LUR for dairy cows on peat soils was lower compared to cows on sandy soils because land used to grow grass and grass silage for cows on peats was unsuitable for direct production of food crops. A LUR

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

van Zanten, Hannah H. E.
Herman Mollenhorst
Cindy W. Klootwijk
Corina E. van Middelaar
Imke J. M. de Boer

Data Provider
Geographical focus