Key traits for ruminant livestock across diverse production systems in the context of climate change: perspectives from a global platform of research farms

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Rivero, M. J., Lopez-Villalobos, N., Evans, A., Berndt, A., Cartmill, A., Neal, A. L., McLaren, A., Farruggia, A., Mignolet, C., Chadwick, D. R., Styles, D., McCracken, D., Busch, D., Martin, G. B., Fleming, H. R., Sheridan, H., Gibbons, J., Merbold, L., Eisler, M., Lambe, N., Rovira, P., Harris, P., Murphy, P., Vercoe, P. E., Williams, P., Machado, R., Takahashi, T., Puech, T., Boland, T., Ayala, W. and Lee, M. R. F. 2021. Key traits for ruminant livestock across diverse production systems in the context of climate change: perspectives from a global platform of research farms. Reproduction, Fertility and Development. 33 (2), pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1071/RD20205

AuthorsRivero, M. J., Lopez-Villalobos, N., Evans, A., Berndt, A., Cartmill, A., Neal, A. L., McLaren, A., Farruggia, A., Mignolet, C., Chadwick, D. R., Styles, D., McCracken, D., Busch, D., Martin, G. B., Fleming, H. R., Sheridan, H., Gibbons, J., Merbold, L., Eisler, M., Lambe, N., Rovira, P., Harris, P., Murphy, P., Vercoe, P. E., Williams, P., Machado, R., Takahashi, T., Puech, T., Boland, T., Ayala, W. and Lee, M. R. F.
Abstract

Ruminant livestock are raised under diverse cultural and environmental production systems around the globe. Ruminant livestock can play a critical role in food security by supplying high-quality, nutrient-dense food with little or no competition for arable land while simultaneously improving soil health through vital returns of organic matter. However, in the context of climate change and limited land resources, the role of ruminant-based systems is uncertain because of their reputed low efficiency of feed conversion (kilogram of feed required per kilogram of product) and the production of methane as a by-product of enteric fermentation. A growing human population will demand more animal protein, which will put greater pressure on the Earth’s planetary boundaries and contribute further to climate change. Therefore, livestock production globally faces the dual challenges of mitigating emissions and adapting to a changing climate. This requires research-led animal and plant breeding and feeding strategies to optimise ruminant systems. This study collated information from a global network of research farms reflecting a variety of ruminant production systems in diverse regions of the globe. Using this information, key changes in the genetic and nutritional approaches relevant to each system were drawn that, if implemented, would help shape more sustainable future ruminant livestock systems.

KeywordsBreeding goals; Feeding strategies; Genetic resources; Global warming; Grazing ruminants; Sustainable intensification
Year of Publication2021
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Journal citation33 (2), pp. 1-19
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1071/RD20205
Web address (URL)https://www.publish.csiro.au/rd/RD20205
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Scottish Government
INRA
Brazilian Corporation of Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA)
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
The North Wyke Farm Platform- National Capability [2017-22]
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Supplemental file
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online08 Jan 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted10 Aug 2020
PublisherCSIRO Publishing
ISSN1031-3613

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