Friday, April 9, 2010

Grazing Cattle Reduce GHG Emissions From Land

Cows Found To Actually Reduce Nitrous Oxide
Posted on: Thursday, 8 April 2010, 15:20 CDT

A new study found that cattle grazed on the grasslands of China actually helps reduce the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.

Environmentalists have been urging people for years to stop eating meat because of the methane produced by cattle.

According to the Telegrpah, the researchers said this does not mean that producing livestock to eat is good for the environment in all countries. However, it can be better for global warming to let animals graze on grassland in certain circumstances.

Klaus Butterbach-Bahl of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany carried out the study in Inner Mongolia in China.

Butterbach-Bahl discovered that grassland produced more nitrous oxide during the spring when sheep or cattle have not been grazing. This is because microbes in the soil release nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Once the grass is long, snow settles keeping the microbes warm and providing water. However, when the grass is cut short by animals the ground freezes and the microbes die.

He said the study turns assumptions about grazing goats and cattle around. Read More

Grass and the environment where it grows have a symbiotic relationship with the animals that consume it. That’s why the healthiest grasslands are those that are being grazed properly. Common sense, which is in short supply, would dictate that grazing has to be beneficial to everything involved or else it wouldn’t have survived this long. We continue to hear calls for grazing on public lands to be stopped. But people forget that the grass doesn’t care if a deer or a cow eats it, it just needs to be eaten for the everything to be healthy.

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