Soil Research Soil Research Society
Soil, land care and environmental research
REVIEW

Global animal production and nitrogen and phosphorus flows

Qian Liu A , Jingmeng Wang A , Zhaohai Bai B , Lin Ma B and Oene Oenema A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Wageningen University, Environmental Sciences, PO Box 47, NL-6700 Wageningen, Netherlands.

B Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetic and Developmental Biology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, 286 Huaizhong Road, Shijiazhuang 050021, Hebei, China.

C Corresponding author. Email: oene.oenema@wur.nl

Soil Research 55(6) 451-462 https://doi.org/10.1071/SR17031
Submitted: 20 January 2017  Accepted: 7 June 2017   Published: 25 July 2017

Abstract

Animal production systems provide nutritious food for humans, income and survivability for numerous smallholder farms and transform residues to valuable products. However, animal production is implicated in human health issues (diet-related diseases, zoonosis, antimicrobial resistance) and environmental burdens (ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication of surface waters, biodiversity loss). This paper reviews changes in global animal production and associated nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) flows over the past 50 years, during which time total animal production roughly tripled. Cattle still dominate the world in terms of animal biomass, but the number and total production of pigs and poultry have increased faster. Animal production systems are highly diverse and respond to changes in markets. Specialised systems have become more dominant, especially in developed and rapidly developing countries. The annual production of N and P in manure is similar to the amounts of N and P in synthetic fertiliser produced annually, but manure nutrients are often not recycled effectively and used efficiently by plants. Nutrient losses greatly depend on the system, management and regulations. Nitrogen and P use efficiency (NUE and PUE respectively) at the animal level is in the range 5–45%, depending on animal category, feeding and management. NUE of mixed crop-animal systems may range from 5% to 65% depending on NUE at the animal level, and the utilisation of manure nitrogen and new nitrogen inputs. Potentially, values for PUE are higher than those for NUE. Solutions for improving NUE and PUE in animal production are based on a coherent set of activities in the whole chain of ‘feed production–animal production–manure management’. A high efficiency at the system level is achieved through combination of high NUE and PUE at the animal level and effective recycling and utilisation of manure N and P in crop production. Specific regional regulations (low-emission manure storage and application, proper application limits and timing) greatly contribute to high efficiency at a system level.

Additional keywords: feed, livestock density, manure management, nitrogen balance, nitrogen use efficiency, phosphorus balance, phosphorus use efficiency, system.


References

Bai Z, Ma L, Jin S, Ma W, Velthof GL, Oenema O, Zhang F (2016) Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium flows through the manure management chain in China. Environmental Science Technology 50, 13409–13418.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium flows through the manure management chain in China.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC28XhvVGqsbfM&md5=aa0821b23dca64d83d06802e8a0b8203CAS |

Barona E, Ramankutty N, Hyman G, Coomes OT (2010) The role of pasture and soybean in deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon. Environmental Research Letters 5, 024002
The role of pasture and soybean in deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon.CrossRef |

Beusen AHW, Bouwman AF, Heuberger PSC, Van Drecht G, Van Der Hoek KW (2008) Bottom-up uncertainty estimates of global ammonia emissions from global agricultural production systems. Atmospheric Environment 42, 6067–6077.
Bottom-up uncertainty estimates of global ammonia emissions from global agricultural production systems.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1cXovFOnurY%3D&md5=6003bcff6aa9bfe8ba7809dfe86c3757CAS |

Bittman S, Dedina M, Howard CM, Oenema O, Sutton MA (Eds) (2014) ‘Options for ammonia mitigation: guidance from the UNECE Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen.’ (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Publishing: Edinburgh, UK)

Bouwman AF, Klein Goldewijk K, Van Der Hoek KW, Beusen AHW, Van Vuuren DP, Willems J, Rufino MC, Stehfest E (2013) Exploring global changes in nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in agriculture induced by livestock production over the 1900–2050 period. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110, 20882–20887.
Exploring global changes in nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in agriculture induced by livestock production over the 1900–2050 period.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2cXnsFyrsg%3D%3D&md5=d181793401b9d49fd505e4aa638e951cCAS |

de Klein CAM, Monaghan RM, Alfaro M, Gourley C, Oenema O, Powell JM (2017) Nitrogen performance indicators for dairy production systems. Soil Research 55,
Nitrogen performance indicators for dairy production systems.CrossRef |

Delgado C, Rosegrant M, Steinfeld H, Ehui S, Courbois C (1999) Livestock to 2020: the next food revolution. Food, Agriculture and the Environment Discussion Paper 28, Food, Agriculture, and the Environment International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC, USA.

Eurostat (2009) Glossary: Livestock unit (LSU). Available at http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Glossary:Livestock_unit [verified 19 December 2015].

FAO (2009) The state of food and agriculture: livestock in the balance. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

Gourley CJP, Aarons SR, Powell JM (2012) Nitrogen use efficiency and manure management in contrasting dairy production systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems Environment 147, 73–81.
Nitrogen use efficiency and manure management in contrasting dairy production systems.CrossRef |

Grote U, Craswell E, Vlek P (2005) Nutrient flows in international trade: ecology and policy issues. Environmental Science Policy 8, 439–451.
Nutrient flows in international trade: ecology and policy issues.CrossRef |

Hazell P, Wood S (2008) Drivers of change in global agriculture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 363, 495–515.
Drivers of change in global agriculture.CrossRef |

Herrero M, Thornton PK (2013) Livestock and global change: emerging issues for sustainable food systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110, 20878–20881.
Livestock and global change: emerging issues for sustainable food systems.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2cXnsFykug%3D%3D&md5=36dab8e256fc88c4c57db41747bfa4f3CAS |

Hou Y, Bai ZH, Lesschen JP, Staritsky IG, Sikirica N, Ma L, Velthof GL, Oenema O (2016) Feed use and nitrogen excretion of livestock in EU-27. Agriculture, Ecosystems Environment 218, 232–244.
Feed use and nitrogen excretion of livestock in EU-27.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2MXitVShsrnJ&md5=cca1a0b688f586cca3d4b01659818e3aCAS |

Hou Y, Velthof GL, Lesschen JP, Staritsky IG, Oenema O (2017) Nutrient recovery and emissions of ammonia, nitrous oxide, and methane from animal manure in Europe: effects of manure treatment technologies. Environmental Science Technology 51, 375–383.
Nutrient recovery and emissions of ammonia, nitrous oxide, and methane from animal manure in Europe: effects of manure treatment technologies.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC28XitVSrsLfM&md5=b3a68229a8212baaeb202263bfd0c9dfCAS |

Kosgey IS, Baker RL, Udo HMJ, Van Arendonk JAM (2006) Successes and failures of small ruminant breeding programmes in the tropics: a review. Small Ruminant Research 61, 13–28.
Successes and failures of small ruminant breeding programmes in the tropics: a review.CrossRef |

Lassaletta L, Billen G, Grizzetti B, Anglade J, Garnier J (2014a) 50 year trends in nitrogen use efficiency of world cropping systems: the relationship between yield and nitrogen input to cropland. Environmental Research Letters 9, 105011
50 year trends in nitrogen use efficiency of world cropping systems: the relationship between yield and nitrogen input to cropland.CrossRef |

Lassaletta L, Billen G, Grizzetti B, Garnier J, Leach AM, Galloway JN (2014b) Food and feed trade as a driver in the global nitrogen cycle: 50-year trends. Biogeochemistry 118, 225–241.
Food and feed trade as a driver in the global nitrogen cycle: 50-year trends.CrossRef |

Lassaletta L, Billen G, Garnier J, Bouwman L, Velazquez E, Mueller ND, Garnier J (2016) Nitrogen use in the global food system: past trends and future trajectories of agronomic performance, pollution, trade, and dietary demand. Environmental Research Letters 11, 095007
Nitrogen use in the global food system: past trends and future trajectories of agronomic performance, pollution, trade, and dietary demand.CrossRef |

Li Y, Zhang W, Ma L, Huang G, Oenema O, Zhang F, Dou Z (2013) An analysis of China’s fertilizer policies: impacts on the industry, food security, and the environment. Journal of Environmental Quality 42, 972–981.
An analysis of China’s fertilizer policies: impacts on the industry, food security, and the environment.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3sXhtFOjs7bK&md5=8c9e30f33f6d16ca0a1ed5ec6f8e22b1CAS |

Lobell DB, Burke MB, Tebaldi C, Mastrandrea MD, Falcon WP, Naylor RL (2008) Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030. Science 319, 607–610.
Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1cXht1Knt74%3D&md5=10431d5d134e9aeb8d8cebad9a2bb2beCAS |

Lobell DB, Cassman KG, Field CB (2009) Crop yield gaps: their importance, magnitudes, and causes. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 34, 179–204.
Crop yield gaps: their importance, magnitudes, and causes.CrossRef |

Mazoyer M, Roudart L (2006) ‘A history of world agriculture: from the neolithic age to the current crisis.’ (Earthscan Publishing: London, UK)

McDonald P, Edwards RA, Greenhalgh JFD, Morgan CA, Sinclair LA, Wilkinson RG (2010) ‘Animal nutrition.’ 7th edn. (Prentice Hall Publishing: Harlow, UK)

Mosier AR, Syers JK, Freney JR (Eds) (2004) ‘Agriculture and the nitrogen cycle: assessing the impacts of fertilizer use on food production and the environment.’ SCOPE 65. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Nesme T, Senthilkumar K, Mollier A, Pellerin S (2015) Effects of crop and livestock segregation on phosphorus resource use: a systematic, regional analysis. European Journal of Agronomy 71, 88–95.
Effects of crop and livestock segregation on phosphorus resource use: a systematic, regional analysis.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2MXhsVOqtbvL&md5=5c6f65f4e42b169fbf9c58d5b841d6d8CAS |

OECD (2015) Agricultural policy monitoring and evaluation 2015. Highlights. Available at https://www.oecd.org/tad/agricultural-policies/monitoring-evaluation-2015-highlights-july-2015.pdf [verified 1 February 2016].

Oenema O, Bleeker A, Braathen NA, Budňáková M, Bull K, Čermák P, Geupel M, Hicks K, Hoft R, Kozlova N, Leip A, Spranger T, Valli L, Velthof G, Winiwarterl W (2011) Nitrogen in current European policies. In ‘The European nitrogen assessment’. (Eds MA Sutton, CM Howard, JW Erisman, G Billen, A Bleeker, P Grennfelt, H Van Grinsven, B Grizzetti) pp. 62–81. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK)

Oenema O, de Klein C, Alfaro M (2014) Intensification of grassland and forage use: driving forces and constraints. Crop and Pasture Science 65, 524–537.
Intensification of grassland and forage use: driving forces and constraints.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2cXhtVyit7bN&md5=c146eb836df96cc2be36208b69918270CAS |

Paustian K, Ravindranath NH, Amstel AR, Van (2006) ‘2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Vol. 2.’ (IPCC)

Popp J, Lakner Z, Harangi-Rákos M, Fári M (2014) The effect of bioenergy expansion: food, energy, and environment. Renewable Sustainable Energy Reviews 32, 559–578.
The effect of bioenergy expansion: food, energy, and environment.CrossRef |

Powell JM, Rotz CA (2015) Measures of nitrogen use efficiency and nitrogen loss from dairy production systems. Journal of Environmental Quality 44, 336–344.
Measures of nitrogen use efficiency and nitrogen loss from dairy production systems.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2MXkvV2gur8%3D&md5=8a1ae2b9d593fde5111c3ff95af83e07CAS |

R Core Team (2015) ‘R: a language and environment for statistical computing.’ Available at http://www.R-project.org [verified 1 February 2016].

Rauw WM, Kanis E, Noordhuizen-Stassen EN, Grommers FJ (1998) Undesirable side effects of selection for high production efficiency in farm animals: a review. Livestock Production Science 56, 15–33.
Undesirable side effects of selection for high production efficiency in farm animals: a review.CrossRef |

Ray DK, Mueller ND, West PC, Foley JA (2013) Yield trends are insufficient to double global crop production by 2050. PLoS One 8, e66428
Yield trends are insufficient to double global crop production by 2050.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3sXhtVGqtLjE&md5=84588d55651a0e7e486c8850bc62cb3eCAS |

Robledo-Abad C, Althaus HJ, Berndes G, Bolwig S, Corbera E, Creutzig F, Garcia-Ulloa J, Geddes A, Gregg JS, Haberl H, Hanger S, Harper RJ, Hunsberger C, Larsen RK, Lauk C, Leitner S, Lilliestam J, Lotze-Campen H, Muys B, Nordborg M, Ölund M, Orlowsky B, Popp A, Portugal-Pereira J, Reinhard J, Scheiffle L, Smith P (2017) Bioenergy production and sustainable development: science base for policy-making remains limited. Global Change Biology. Bioenergy 9, 541–556.
Bioenergy production and sustainable development: science base for policy-making remains limited.CrossRef |

Schelhaas H (2009) ‘Agriculture between food crises and food surpluses’ (Wageningen Academic Publishers: Netherlands)

Schlenker W, Lobell DB (2010) Robust negative impacts of climate change on African agriculture. Environmental Research Letters 5, 014010
Robust negative impacts of climate change on African agriculture.CrossRef |

Sharma S, Rou Z (2014). ‘China’s dairy dilemma.’ (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: Washington, DC)

Steinfeld H, Gerber P, Wassenaar T, Castel V, Rosales M, Haan CD (2006) ‘Livestock’s long shadow: environmental issues and options’. (FAO: Rome, Italy)

Stott KJ, Gourley CJP (2016) Intensification, nitrogen use and recovery in grazing-based dairy systems. Agricultural Systems 144, 101–112.
Intensification, nitrogen use and recovery in grazing-based dairy systems.CrossRef |

Strokal M, Ma L, Bai Z, Luan S, Kroeze C, Oenema O, Velthof G, Zhang F (2016) Alarming nutrient pollution of Chinese rivers as a result of agricultural transitions. Environmental Research Letters 11, 024014
Alarming nutrient pollution of Chinese rivers as a result of agricultural transitions.CrossRef |

Suttle NF (2010) ‘Mineral nutrition of livestock.’ 4th edn. (CABI International Publishing: Wallingford, UK)

Sutton MA, Bleeker A, Howard CM, Bekunda M, Grizzetti B, de Vries W, van Grinsven HJM, Abrol YP, Adhya TK, Billen G, Davidson EA, Datta A, Diaz R, Erisman JW, Liu XJ, Oenema O, Palm C, Raghuram N, Reis S, Scholz RW, Sims T, Westhoek H, Zhang FS (2013) ‘Our nutrient world: the challenge to produce more food and energy with less pollution’. (NERC/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology: Edinburgh)

Thompson B, Amoroso L (2011) ‘Combating micronutrient deficiencies: food-based approaches.’ (CABI International: Wallingford, UK, and FAO: Rome, Italy)

Thornton PK (2010) Livestock production: recent trends, future prospects. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 365, 2853–2867.
Livestock production: recent trends, future prospects.CrossRef |

Tomek WG, Kaiser HM (2014) ‘Agricultural product prices.’ (Cornell University Press: New York)

Velthof GL, Lesschen JP, Webb J, Pietrzak S, Miatkowski Z, Pinto M, Kros J, Oenema O (2014) The impact of the Nitrates Directive on nitrogen emissions from agriculture in the EU-27 during 2000–2008. The Science of the Total Environment 468–469, 1225–1233.
The impact of the Nitrates Directive on nitrogen emissions from agriculture in the EU-27 during 2000–2008.CrossRef |

Verschoor AJ, Vink JPM, Vijver MG (2012) Simplification of biotic ligand models of Cu, Ni, and Zn by 1-, 2-, and 3-parameter transfer functions. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 8, 738–748.
Simplification of biotic ligand models of Cu, Ni, and Zn by 1-, 2-, and 3-parameter transfer functions.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC38XhsVSqsLvL&md5=2456655750a1be03bc2e5f80771d6b0fCAS |

Von Braun J, Díaz-Bonilla E (2008) ‘Globalization of food and agriculture and the poor.’ (Oxford University Press: New York)

Wang J, Liu Q, Hou Y, Qin W, Lesschen J, Zhang F, Oenema O (2017) International trade of animal feed; its relationships with livestock density and N and P balances at country level. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems in press

Wei S, Bai Z, Qin W, Xia L, Oenema O, Jiang R, Ma L (2016) Environmental, economic and social analysis of peri-urban pig production. Journal of Cleaner Production 129, 596–607.
Environmental, economic and social analysis of peri-urban pig production.CrossRef |

Whitehead DC (2000) ‘Nutrient elements in grassland. Soil–plant–animal relationships.’ (CABI Publishing: Wallingford, UK)

Willems J, Van Grinsven H, Jacobsen BH, Jensen T, Dalgaard T, Westhoek H, Kristensen IB (2016) Why Danish pig farms have far more land and pigs than Dutch farms? Implications for feed supply, manure recycling and production costs. Agricultural Systems 144, 122–132.
Why Danish pig farms have far more land and pigs than Dutch farms? Implications for feed supply, manure recycling and production costs.CrossRef |



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Supplementary MaterialSupplementary Material (310 KB) Export Citation Cited By (2)