Meat consumption is rising in China, India and Brazil, and since it takes 7kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef (and 4kg to produce 1kg of pork), this is adding to global demand.
No, no, it doesn\’t.
The efficiency with which various animals convert grain into protein varies widely. With cattle in feedlots, it takes roughly 7 kilograms of grain to produce a 1-kilogram gain in live weight. For pork, the figure is close to 4 kilograms of grain per kilogram of weight gain, for poultry it is just over 2, and for herbivorous species of farmed fish (such as carp, tilapia, and catfish), it is less than 2.
Note the \”in feedlots\” there. This is not a typical method of producing beef in the UK. We use a lot more pasture land than the Americans do. Indeed, the Americans also use pasture at times, as do the Brazilians, Argentines and so on.
I\’m afraid that it pisses me off mightily that these figures from one, extreme, US technology are used as the average across all meat producing technologies. It just ain\’t true.
I know there are several farmers who read this blog. Do we actually have any US style feedlot beef operations in the UK? In Europe even? If so, are they a large part of the system? A small part?
Does anyone feed grain (as opposed to grass, hay,) to cattle to fatten them up?