A white paper released by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association shows the U.S. is the leader in sustainable beef production.

The beef industry is often erroneously represented as a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts, but the inaccuracies stem from the use of outdated or global statistics, according to a Southeast FarmPress article on the white paper’s findings. To remedy such misinformation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) sustainable beef production research department issued a white paper looking at the statistics of sustainable beef production in the U.S. and found the U.S. leads the world in producing beef in a sustainable manner. See highlights of the white paper below.

Highlights of U.S. Sustainable Beef Production

The white paper was authored by Sara Place, PhD, senior director of the NCBA’s sustainable beef production research, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, per the article. Highlights from the white paper include:

  • Compared to the mid-1970’s, today’s U.S. cattle producers produce the same amount of beef with one-third fewer cattle.
  • Only 3.7% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come directly from beef cattle, versus the global rate of 6%.
  • All agriculture, including beef cattle and other animal and crop agriculture, accounts for 8.4% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with the global rate being 14.5%.
  • In comparison, transportation accounts for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
  • The U.S. produces around 18% of the world’s beef with only 8% of the world’s cattle herd because of “improved productivity practices, refined genetics, nutrition and scientific advancements.”

These statistics are good talking points for those wanting to advocate for the sustainability of the U.S. beef industry.

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