Getting pastoral systems productivity right

Geraldo B. Martha Jr, Luis Gustavo Barioni, Patrícia M. Santos, Rodrigo Fernando Maule, Dominic Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Beef production in pasture-based systems is increasingly contested due to related biophysical and environmental challenges. Addressing these requires rigorous science-based evidence to inform private decisions and public policies. Increasing yields and simultaneously reducing the negative environmental impacts of agricultural and livestock production are central to sustainable intensification approaches. Yet, stocking rate, the commonly used metric for animal productivity in pastures, or more broadly, of sustainable intensification in pastoral production systems, warrants scrutiny to signpost successful transformative change of food systems and to avoid provision of misleading policy advice. Here we discuss why future studies would benefit of considering the two constituent elements of productivity in pastoral systems – animal performance (kg of animal product/head) and stocking rates (heads/hectare) –, rather than stocking rates alone
Original languageEnglish
Article number170268
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date20 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Agricultural policies
  • Bio-economic modeling
  • Decision-making
  • Sustainable intensification
  • Yield gap


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