Mixing Crops with Livestock Could Make Climate Adaptation Cheaper
On a global scale, mixing crops with livestock-production systems can substantially reduce climate-adaptation costs, and slow down deforestation by lowering agricultural land requirements. That's according to a team from Austria and Germany, who says that livestock production – the world's largest user of land and biomass – is an important risk-management strategy for vulnerable communities, but its adaptation options are still under-examined.
Simulating the effects of climate change on crop yield and rangeland vegetation indicates that adaptation will require around 3% of total agricultural production costs in 2045. Shifting towards mixed crop–livestock systems could cut adaptation costs to 0.3% of the total, as well as reducing deforestation by about 76 million hectares worldwide.