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Grazing management of ruminant animals in sustainable agriculture

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Abstract:

Ruminant grazing, properly managed, can provide an extremely resource-efficient and sustainable supply of protein to the global economy. Ruminants are unique in agro-ecosystems because of their ability to digest and use cellulose. As much as 90% of their diet is composed of roughage that cannot be digested by humans and most other non-ruminants. Ruminant grazing (1) enhances efficient use of solar energy, (2) improves soil nutrient cycling, (3) uses non-competitive renewable resources, (4) conserves soil and water, and (5) adds flexibility to most farming enterprises. Ruminants are an integral part of sustainable agriculture, providing high-quality, economical products with less environmental impact than non-ruminant alternatives. The economic and ecological efficiency of food production using ruminant species can be optimized by intensively managing the relationship between the grazer and the landscape.

Keywords: DIGESTIBILITY; FORAGE; FORAGE QUALITY; GRAZING; MANAGEMENT-INTENSIVE GRAZING; RUMINANTS; SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000004773973073

Publication date: June 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Outlook on Agriculture is an international peer-review journal devoted to agricultural science, policy and strategy. The journal is published quarterly and provides analysis, reviews and commentary for an international and interdisciplinary readership. Special attention is paid to agricultural policy, international trade in the agricultural sector, strategic developments in food production, the role of agriculture in social and economic development, agriculture in developing countries, and environmental issues. Readers include academics, policy makers and practitioners. For more details go to www.ippublishing.com
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