The Methane Issue

One of the most common questions people have about Holistic Management is, "Will it increase methane?" Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and cattle produce a lot of it. Some grazing animals produce less than cattle — camels, for example, although it's because their metabolism is lower, so they actually produce as much methane per pound of feed. They just eat less (source).

When animals are grazed using Holistic Management, however, methane may not be an issue, for various reasons, including the fact that fresh grasses are digested better than feedlot grain, and that the manure is in the open on the range where bacteria can break down the methane rather than put into a "manure lagoon" as is often the case with feedlot cattle.

Also, if animals get more Omega 3 fatty acids from their food, they produce less methane, and a healthy pasture like that produced using Holistic Management includes grasses with higher Omega 3 content than the grain mixtures typically used in feedlots (source).

And, of course, scientists are looking to breed cattle to produce less methane (source).

Read the Holistic Management's white paper on methane here (PDF): An Exploration of Methane and Properly Managed Livestock through Holistic Management.

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