Australian cattle and sheep farmers are committed to producing beef and lamb sustainably.
As passionate stewards of almost 50% of Australia's landmass, they work hard to leave the land, waterways, vegetation and soils in better condition for future generations. The focus on the environmental sustainability of the industry covers key areas of emissions reduction, water use and land management that are important not only for the environment but also for producing nutritious, high quality beef and lamb.
Because of geological, topographic and climatic factors, less than 8 per cent of Australia's land is suitable for crop production. Cattle and sheep farming is the most efficient use of non-arable land for producing highly nutritious protein.
Through their industry levies, cattle and sheep farmers also invest in research, development and extension
projects to continually improve their sustainability and reduce the resources they use. Each year cattle and sheep farmers invest more than $13 million in research and development to reduce the industry's environmental impact.
Every day cattle and sheep farmers are doing simple things to improve their environmental sustainability, whether it be installing solar panels, fencing off dams to increase biodiversity or using different stocking strategies to improve soil health and groundcover.
Like all agriculture and in fact human activity, raising cattle and sheep has an impact on the environment. Today cattle and sheep farmers work hard to ensure that the impact is minimised and that farming techniques work in partnership with the natural environment. The livelihood of farmers is dependent on a healthy environment and farmers recognise this.
Australia's livestock industry produces approximately 10 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions come from methane which is produced by the natural digestion process of cattle and sheep. Read more about the recent reduction in methane produced by Australian cattle here.