Beef: A Viable Food Source For A Growing Population

IARN — Global beef production has been scrutinized not only for its environmental impact, but inefficiencies compared to other livestock sectors. A researcher asks, “Is beef going to survive?”

Dr. Vaughn Holder, ruminant research group director at Alltech, provides a direct answer in saying, “It absolutely has to.”

“In the next 30 years, we’re going to add two- to three-billion people to our population. Those people are going to want more nutritious foods, more protein. And in the next 30 to 40 years, we’re going to have to produce as much food as we have in the entire history of human civilization. That’s from Jack Bobo, from Futurity,” Dr. Holder said. 

Dr. Holder says alternative, plant-based proteins alone cannot meet the growing protein demands, as only four-percent of Earth’s surface is cultivatable land. Aquaculture could help supplement these heightened demands. Ruminants, such as beef cattle, can utilize large parcels of rangeland.

“The only animals that can utilize rangeland are ruminant animals. That’s why I say ruminants are not going anywhere because there have been many experiments that have tried to convert rangeland to cultivatable land. Those experiments have not been successful,” Dr. Holder said.

Dr. Vaughn Holder debunked misconceptions about beef production during the ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference. You can view his presentation for a more in-depth analysis of cattle’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions at

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

MILK Act Presents New Ways To Support Americans During Pandemic

IARN — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this month announced plans for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase 317-million-dollars in dairy products, as part of its Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Additional work is being done to ensure dairy producers and food insecure citizens receive necessary support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Representatives Ron Kind (WI-3rd District), Mark Pocan (WI-2nd District), and Gwen Moore (WI-4th District) last week introduced the Farmer’s Milk in Low-Income Kitchens (MILK) Act. The bipartisan legislation seeks to assist citizens faced with food insecurity. Representative Kind says it is also “another attempt to bring focus where it is needed the most, to our family farmers.” Read more

Ag Exports Essential To Pandemic Recovery

IARN — The debates are flying all over the place. One day we hear that we need to be patient and China will live up to their purchases of $40 billion in U.S. Ag products. The next day, we are told that there is no way they are going to live up to it. We hear threats from the administration to pull out of the Chinese trade deal. This after 2 years of a depressed farm economy, partially brought on by missing trade deals. One trade adviser says we need trade if we are going to survive this pandemic in the agriculture sector.

Dave Salmonsen is a trade adviser for the American Farm Bureau Federation. He says that exports for agriculture are going to be key if we are to come out of this global pandemic with any chance of recovery.

For more information on this story, including comments from Dave Salmonsen, visit the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Dairy Industry Still Fighting To Reach The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

IARN — It would not be fair to say that the dairy industry has been hurting like other Ag industries. If you were to take a snapshot of just 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, you would still see dairy taking a large hit. Producers dumping milk because the supply chain is unable to handle it, and no market for the milk that would normally have gone to the foodservice industry. We saw farmers literally pouring their livelihoods down the drain. Now compound that with the prior years of depressed prices, and dairy has taken more than its fair share of lumps. This was supposed to be their year after all. One dairy industry executive says there are some positives that are happening despite the pandemic. Read more

Producers In Iowa Can Now Apply For USDA’s CFAP Assistance

IARN — Agricultural producers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The application and a payment calculator are now available online, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff members are available via phone, fax and online tools to help producers complete applications. The agency set up a call center in order to simplify how they serve new customers across the nation. Read more