Energy scarcity and rising cost: Towards a paradigm shift for livestock - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Agricultural Systems Year : 2023

Energy scarcity and rising cost: Towards a paradigm shift for livestock


The current global energy scarcity is leading to a sharp increase in its price and indirectly in the price of feed. Therefore, the large part of animal production that relies on cereals, pulses and cultivated forage will experience a sharp loss of competitiveness. The low energy efficiency of animals makes these arable land-based (ALB) livestock systems very vulnerable to the current energy crisis. The increase in production costs could lead to a sharp rise in the price of animal products. If entirely reflected in product prices, this increase in production costs would lead to a significant drop in consumption in the context of reduced purchasing power. Therefore, the risk of a drop in income for farmers is real. To avoid this scenario, we proposed that two consequences seem unavoidable for livestock farming systems: i) the reduction of arable land dedicated to the production of animal feed, as other markets will be more profitable, and ii) a switch to feeding strategies based on low opportunity land and raw materials from which livestock production is most likely to benefit, i.e., low-quality resources that are difficult to harvest. This would result in a reduction in animal numbers and a redistribution of livestock in agricultural landscapes, a change in the types and traits of farm animals, an adaptation of supply chains and a rebalancing of diets. Such an evolution of livestock farming should also respond to other major challenges, such as climate change and feeding humanity.


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Dates and versions

hal-03926608 , version 1 (06-01-2023)


Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives



Marc Benoit, Anne Mottet. Energy scarcity and rising cost: Towards a paradigm shift for livestock. Agricultural Systems, 2023, 205, pp.103585. ⟨10.1016/j.agsy.2022.103585⟩. ⟨hal-03926608⟩


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