[p2p-research] The one thing depleting faster than oil is the credibility of those measurin...

J. Andrew Rogers reality.miner at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 21:07:13 CET 2009

On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 9:15 AM, Kevin Carson
<free.market.anticapitalist at gmail.com> wrote:
> That would work out fine, IMO.  I love lamb and resent the fact that
> it's rarely found (and extremely expensive when it is) in most
> supermarkets.  And I can barely tell the difference between mutton and
> beef.

Yeah, I like lamb too.  Fortunately, it is becoming more available in the US.

> Re beef, we could achieve a considerable scaling back of dedicated
> land just by going back to the pattern followed by our
> great-great-grandparents:  restricting cattle to areas that are
> natural pasture, supplemented with just enough corn feeding to get
> them through the winter.

In the western US, much of the cattle is raised on natural forage and
wintered on alfalfa. Local feed is cheaper, and grasses grow well in
the arid west. Something like 30-40% of the US cattle herd is already
raised this way on what is marginally arable land, so the sustainable
levels of production are not as low as some people imagine. Cattle are
actually an important part of the ecosystem on the open range
(replacing the niche formerly occupied by bison).

How animals are raised for market is pretty dependent on local
conditions and economics.  In places like the Great Plains region, it
is most efficient to use feeder grains like corn and millet.  The
quality of the native grasses (from a feed standpoint) varies
significantly with region. One of the reasons the arid regions of the
US are viable for cattle ranching is that the native grasses make
excellent high-protein forage.

J. Andrew Rogers

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