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Is cross-breeding of cattle beneficial for the environment? The case of mixed farming systems in Central Java, Indonesia

  • T.S.M. Widi (a1) (a2), H.M.J. Udo (a1), K. Oldenbroek (a3), I.G.S. Budisatria (a2), E. Baliarti (a2), T.C. Viets (a1) and A.J. van der Zijpp (a1)...

Summary

Cross-breeding with European beef breeds has become a standard approach for the intensification of smallholder cattle production in Indonesia. This study assessed the environmental impact of cross-breeding, in terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP) and land use. We sampled 90 local Ongole and 162 cross-bred (Simmental × Ongole) cattle farms in four study areas. Expressed per kilogram of live weight of young stock produced, GWP (26.9 kg CO2–equivalents) and land use (34.2 m2) of farms with Ongole breeding stock were not significantly different from the GWP (28.9 kg CO2–equivalents) and land use (37.4 m2) of cross-bred farms. Cross-bred young stock grew faster, but in general cross-bred cattle required more feed. In the current smallholder production system, the dominant cross-breeding practice of using Simmental semen on Ongole and F 1 cross-bred cows does not result in lower greenhouse gas emissions or land use per kilogram of live weight produced compared with farms with Ongole cows. The advantage from the faster growth of cross-breds is counteracted by the higher emissions from feed production for cross-breds.

Le croisement avec des races européennes de bovins à viande est devenu un procédé standard dans le but d'intensifier la production bovine des petits propriétaires de l'Indonésie. Cette étude a évalué l'impact environnemental du croisement en termes de potentiel de réchauffement global (PRG) et d'utilisation de la terre. Les mesures ont été effectuées dans 90 exploitations de bovins locaux Ongole et dans 162 exploitations de bovins croisés (Simmental × Ongole) de quatre zones d’étude. Exprimés par kilogramme de poids vif de jeune bétail élevé, le PRG (26,9 kg d’équivalents de CO2) et les terres employées (34,2 m2) dans les exploitations ayant des reproducteurs Ongole n'ont pas différé significativement du PRG (28,9 kg d’équivalents de CO2) et des terres employées (37,4 m2) dans les exploitations à bovins croisés. Le jeune bétail croisé a grandi plus rapidement mais, en général, les bovins croisés ont eu besoin de plus d'aliments. Dans le système actuel de production des petits propriétaires, la pratique généralisée du croisement, en inséminant les vaches Ongole et les croisées F1 avec du sperme Simmental, n'entraîne pas une moindre émission de gaz à effet de serre ni un moindre besoin de terres, par kilogramme de poids vif produit, par rapport aux exploitations de vaches Ongole. L'avantage de la croissance plus rapide des bovins croisés est atténué par les plus grandes émissions du système de production des aliments destinés au bétail croisé.

El cruzamiento con razas europeas de ganado bovino de carne se ha convertido en un procedimiento estándar para intensificar la producción de ganado bovino de los pequeños propietarios de Indonesia. Este estudio evaluó el impacto ambiental del cruzamiento en términos de potencial de calentamiento global (PCG) y de uso de la tierra. Se muestrearon 90 explotaciones de ganado local Ongole y otras 162 de ganado bovino cruzado (Simmental × Ongole) en cuatro zonas de estudio. Expresados por kilogramo de peso vivo de ganado joven producido, el PCG (26,9 kg de equivalentes de CO2) y la tierra empleada (34,2 m2) en las granjas con reproductores Ongole no difirieron significativamente del PCG (28,9 kg de equivalentes de CO2) y la tierra empleada (37,4 m2) en las explotaciones con ganado cruzado. El ganado joven cruzado creció más rápidamente pero, en términos generales, el ganado cruzado necesitó más alimento. En el sistema actual de producción de los pequeños propietarios, la práctica dominante del cruzamiento, consistente en utilizar semen Simmental para cubrir vacas Ongole y cruzadas F1, no conlleva una menor emisión de gases con efecto invernadero ni una menor necesidad de terreno, por kilogramo de peso vivo producido, en comparación con las explotaciones de vacas Ongole. La ventaja del crecimiento más rápido de los ejemplares cruzados se ve mitigada por las mayores emisiones del sistema de producción de alimentos para el ganado cruzado.

Copyright

Corresponding author

* Correspondence to: T.S.M. Widi, Animal Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands. email: widi.tsm@ugm.ac.id

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Keywords

Is cross-breeding of cattle beneficial for the environment? The case of mixed farming systems in Central Java, Indonesia

  • T.S.M. Widi (a1) (a2), H.M.J. Udo (a1), K. Oldenbroek (a3), I.G.S. Budisatria (a2), E. Baliarti (a2), T.C. Viets (a1) and A.J. van der Zijpp (a1)...

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