Large-scale Pasture Restoration May Not Be the Best Option to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Brazil

Cattle raising accounts for 44% of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the land use sector in Brazil. In response, the country has proposed a massive pasture restoration program that aspires to make it more competitive while at the same time reducing associated GHG emissions.

Pasture restoration, however, is only one among several options that could help achieve these goals. This study analyzes the potential production, economic return and GHG emissions from an intensification strategy based mainly on pasture restoration and compare its productive, economic and GHG emissions performances with intensification options more focused on supplemental feeding.

The results show that an intensification strategy focused on pasture restoration does reduce GHG emissions, but produces the least favorable economic and GHG emissions outcomes when compared with a range of supplemental feeding alternatives. Therefore, Brazil should seek more diversified strategies for cattle intensification in its climate mitigation policy

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