The demand for ecosystem services by different calf-production systems in South Africa

This study compares the environmental impact (i.e. feed intake, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions) of 12 different calf-production systems to produce a calf weighing 190 kg to 220 kg. A farm-level static model and a national-level dynamic model were both developed to consider the variation in the environmental impact following different cattle management protocols. It was found that aspects related to calf mortality rates, calving percentage, average daily gain and fodder conversion ratios play a significant role in the total environmental impact of calf production. The longer it takes for a calf to reach the target weight and the more animals there are in the herd structure, the higher the environmental impact and the more unsustainable the production becomes. Therefore, the higher the environmental impact, the higher the relative environmental impact to produce a kilogram of beef. This requires a careful yet decisive policy focus and action plan towards sustainable rangeland management.

Issue Date:
Jun 01 2017
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 12, Number 2
Page range:

 Record created 2017-07-05, last modified 2018-01-23

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)