Pasture-For-Life beef

Agrivator

Member
I presume that as far as the consumer is concerned,the term ''Pasture-For-Life'' infers that beef cattle have been grazed on grass for life.

Does it exist, or is it just a figment of someone's vivid imagination?
 

Cowgirl

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ayrshire
We are now Pasture for Life Certified producers. Butcher is not unfortunately so can’t yet sell from PFLA website but with a few more hoops to jump through we should be able to. Certification is done through same as Organic - though slightly different, many of the standards are the same. If you go to the website you can read the standards.
We believe it is a growing movement and is ideal for us, though wouldn’t suit a lot of people. Have to have the right genetics for the job - ours are ideally suited.
 

Agrivator

Member
But presumably, the carbon footprint of such a system must be significantly higher than grass-based systems which use judicious amounts of concentrate/protein supplementation.
 

Cowgirl

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ayrshire
But presumably, the carbon footprint of such a system must be significantly higher than grass-based systems which use judicious amounts of concentrate/protein supplementation.
Why? I assume you belong to the “longer on the planet, the more methane” brigade, but it has to be balanced against the whole carbon footprint of growing and transportation of the concentrate / protein (fuel, fertiliser etc) and does not take into account sequestration of carbon - I thought this had been well discussed on here in other threads. Our cattle are all away by 28-29 months and with better grass management could do 27 months at a pinch at slightly lighter weights. They average 280 kg DW R4L or H at that age.
 
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Great certification however, there is no demand and finding a buyer for grassfed organic angus is hard enough now. We did look into this but not worth the bother. Some people are switched onto non soya and shed stuffed beef however, looks like we will be cutting our herd numbers this year as there is no buyers bar the main abattoirs and even if you find niche buyers they only want to pay the standard rates. Only works if your selling box beef or lucky to have a farm shop. The rest of us are stuffed.
 

Cowgirl

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ayrshire
Great certification however, there is no demand and finding a buyer for grassfed organic angus is hard enough now. We did look into this but not worth the bother. Some people are switched onto non soya and shed stuffed beef however, looks like we will be cutting our herd numbers this year as there is no buyers bar the main abattoirs and even if you find niche buyers they only want to pay the standard rates. Only works if your selling box beef or lucky to have a farm shop. The rest of us are stuffed.
So sell boxes or open a farm shop?
 

The Ruminant

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Hertfordshire
But presumably, the carbon footprint of such a system must be significantly higher than grass-based systems which use judicious amounts of concentrate/protein supplementation.
This is a common mistake made by many.

When considering carbon, you need to start off by asking where the carbon comes from. If you have an animal grazing unfertilised grass for 365 days a year then every single molecule of carbon that cow emits comes from the forage it eats and the forage gets every single molecule of carbon from the air, as it photosynthesises. The carbon just goes round and round (and is called the carbon cycle).

Add in some fertiliser and you’re increasing the carbon footprint - “new” carbon (gas, oil etc) will have been burnt to manufacture the fertiliser, to transport it and and to spread it on the fields too.

Add in grain and it gets worse. Cultivations, drilling, fertiliser, spraying, harvest, transport, manufacture, feeding etc all have a fossil fuel-derived carbon footprint.

Likewise housed cattle: straw baling and transport, bedding up, mucking out, spreading muck, all bad for the environment from a carbon emissions point of view.

The ideal way to keep cattle, if your land and management skills are up to it, it to graze them outside for as many days as possible through the year. Pasture For Life standards don’t specify this, but they have a lot of members who are pushing the envelope for keeping cattle outside all year round (I’ve two groups outside at the moment, including 3 cows with calves that were born outside last February and haven’t seen a shed or had anything other than grazed forage for their whole lives.)
 

MDL POWERUP

Member
This is a common mistake made by many.

When considering carbon, you need to start off by asking where the carbon comes from. If you have an animal grazing unfertilised grass for 365 days a year then every single molecule of carbon that cow emits comes from the forage it eats and the forage gets every single molecule of carbon from the air, as it photosynthesises. The carbon just goes round and round (and is called the carbon cycle).

Add in some fertiliser and you’re increasing the carbon footprint - “new” carbon (gas, oil etc) will have been burnt to manufacture the fertiliser, to transport it and and to spread it on the fields too.

Add in grain and it gets worse. Cultivations, drilling, fertiliser, spraying, harvest, transport, manufacture, feeding etc all have a fossil fuel-derived carbon footprint.

Likewise housed cattle: straw baling and transport, bedding up, mucking out, spreading muck, all bad for the environment from a carbon emissions point of view.

The ideal way to keep cattle, if your land and management skills are up to it, it to graze them outside for as many days as possible through the year. Pasture For Life standards don’t specify this, but they have a lot of members who are pushing the envelope for keeping cattle outside all year round (I’ve two groups outside at the moment, including 3 cows with calves that were born outside last February and haven’t seen a shed or had anything other than grazed forage for their whole lives.)
Try doing that in Cumbria, it's hard enough stopping sheep ruining fields in the winter. I like the idea but if everyone did it we wouldn't produce enough beef and they'd all be ready in the summer months
 

Cowgirl

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ayrshire
Try doing that in Cumbria, it's hard enough stopping sheep ruining fields in the winter. I like the idea but if everyone did it we wouldn't produce enough beef and they'd all be ready in the summer months
Agreed it’s harder when it’s wet but you’re wrong about the summer. Our last two went in November.
 

Tim G

Member
Livestock Farmer
We are now Pasture for Life Certified producers. Butcher is not unfortunately so can’t yet sell from PFLA website but with a few more hoops to jump through we should be able to. Certification is done through same as Organic - though slightly different, many of the standards are the same. If you go to the website you can read the standards.
We believe it is a growing movement and is ideal for us, though wouldn’t suit a lot of people. Have to have the right genetics for the job - ours are ideally suited.
Can I ask what the butcher has to do to be certified?
 

Cowgirl

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ayrshire
Where abouts are you though? I doubt you'd finish cattle off grass alone up here out in mud and rain in November?
South Ayrshire. Pretty wet. We do usually have to bring our cattle in in December until April. Ideally if we had access to more land we would have more deferred grazing.
 
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Cowgirl

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ayrshire
Can I ask what the butcher has to do to be certified?
I need to look into it more but I believe we can certify on behalf of the butcher - we don’t think we actually need the butcher to be certified separately. However it’s obviously aimed at farm shops with their own butchers.
 

Muddyroads

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Exeter, Devon
This is a common mistake made by many.

When considering carbon, you need to start off by asking where the carbon comes from. If you have an animal grazing unfertilised grass for 365 days a year then every single molecule of carbon that cow emits comes from the forage it eats and the forage gets every single molecule of carbon from the air, as it photosynthesises. The carbon just goes round and round (and is called the carbon cycle).

Add in some fertiliser and you’re increasing the carbon footprint - “new” carbon (gas, oil etc) will have been burnt to manufacture the fertiliser, to transport it and and to spread it on the fields too.

Add in grain and it gets worse. Cultivations, drilling, fertiliser, spraying, harvest, transport, manufacture, feeding etc all have a fossil fuel-derived carbon footprint.

Likewise housed cattle: straw baling and transport, bedding up, mucking out, spreading muck, all bad for the environment from a carbon emissions point of view.

The ideal way to keep cattle, if your land and management skills are up to it, it to graze them outside for as many days as possible through the year. Pasture For Life standards don’t specify this, but they have a lot of members who are pushing the envelope for keeping cattle outside all year round (I’ve two groups outside at the moment, including 3 cows with calves that were born outside last February and haven’t seen a shed or had anything other than grazed forage for their whole lives.)
Does anyone know what percentage of a beast is carbon? Some of it must be retained by the animals.
 

Cowgirl

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Ayrshire
Last two steers, for interest, a few weeks before they went, 290 and 305 kg DW R4H
1FCF81ED-C2D4-4AA9-9779-6C29346F0CA2.jpeg
F3B7A991-E2FC-46C5-AC1F-EF6F53A6B538.jpeg
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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