For Manitoba’s 8,000 beef producing families, caring for the land is what they do 365 days a year. Sustaining the land is essential for their business to survive.
- Many cattle producers’ develop environmental farm plans that help them utilize good management practices reducing the environmental footprint of Canadian agriculture.
- Some of the beneficial initiatives producers have implemented include rotational grazing and native grass seeding. This allows producers to keep a healthy stand of grass and ensure the health of the land. They maintain biodiversity and wildlife habitat on grasslands and prevent erosion on susceptible parts of cultivated land. Beef producers create buffer zones around bodies of water like ponds and creeks which sustain populations of wildlife. Many also use solar powered water pumps to provide water for their cattle and to protect their water supplies.
In Canada, nearly one third of our agricultural land can’t be used to grow crops, but it is suitable for grasses which are used to raise grazing livestock and support wildlife. This more than doubles the land area that can be used to produce food in Canada.
- Cultivating this land for food crops would destroy natural habitat and impact wildlife.
- Producers maintain biodiversity and wildlife habitat on wild grasslands and prevent erosion on susceptible parts of cultivated land. Planting grasses on vulnerable cultivated land prevents wind and water erosion.
Beef cattle production in Canada is among the most efficient in the world and is constantly improving.
- Selective breeding has lead to cattle that are very efficient in feed conversion and that helps minimize green house gas emissions.
- In Canada in 2008, transportation was the source of 28 per cent carbon dioxide equivalent of total Canadian greenhouse gas emissions, two thirds more than all of agriculture. (Source: Canada – National Inventory Report April 15, 2010. Page 21 Table S-1 Canada’s GHG Emissions by Gas and Sector.)
For more details on the benefits of cattle grazing to the land, water, atmosphere and wildlife.