How Net Zero Goals Will Impact the Poultry Industry

As retail and foodservice succumb to consumer and animal rights pressure to go Net Zero, the implications are felt throughout the poultry supply chain.

But sustainability shouldn’t be a scary concept for the poultry industry.

“Everything is connected. We understand that our economic realm is fully integrated with the social realm, which is entirely dependent on the ecological realm. Anyone who lives in a rural community understands that if the ecological realm is disrupted, the social realm and the economic realm are disrupted. collapse,” explained Marty Matlock, Ph.D., professor of ecological engineering, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of Arkansas.

At Poultry Tech Summit 2022, Matlock discussed the challenges and opportunities of going Net Zero for the poultry industry.

Durability improvements 1950-2010

US greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture represent less than 5% of global agricultural greenhouse gas production.

Additionally, there were significant improvements in poultry production between 1960 and 2010, according to Matlock’s research. His data measured everything from feed rations to bird characteristics in poultry production.

Crops now require less land to produce the same amount of poultry feed. Irrigation water use increased for all crops except wheat. Modern broilers also have reduced production time and better feed conversion.

“What we’ve done is reduce barriers to performance while increasing overall performance,” he explained.

Some environmentalists criticize the expansion of poultry production during this period. It is true that industry uses more land than before, but there is an explanation for this: the world’s population is increasing.

How to improve sustainability in the future

Feed is generally considered to be one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the poultry supply chain. This means that poultry producers who want to go Net Zero or further improve sustainability need to ensure that they have a close relationship with their feed producer.

Regenerative farming – which maximizes soil diversity – is one of the new technologies Matlock is most excited about when it comes to improving the sustainability of poultry feed production.

Other ways that could help the poultry industry achieve Net Zero include increased feed conversion ratio through better digestibility, feed additives that improve nutrient absorption from the gut, and optimizing food. Welfare initiatives can also help because a better bird is a healthier bird.

“When people talk about regenerative agriculture, don’t panic,” he added, noting that many of these principles are already being applied.

Attend the Poultry Technology Summit 2023

The Poultry Tech Summit is the only event of its kind that connects researchers and entrepreneurs with poultry industry technology experts, financiers, venture capitalists and producers looking for new projects and investments in finance. Since its inception in 2018, this unique conference has facilitated and accelerated the adoption of many pioneering ideas to benefit the poultry supply chain.

Details on the Poultry Tech Summit 2023 will be released in Spring 2023.

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