Crops Produce More Gasses Than Cows!

Tanja Folnovic

Agronomy Expert

In recent years, the environmental challenges facing agriculture have increased as the agriculture sector has adopted new production methods and intensified production. All because of continued population growth, which is estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050. There is an increasing strain on the agriculture sectors to meet food needs, taking into consideration the fact that total land use is still very low. Global footprint of agriculture shows that crops cover 1,5 billion ha (10% of global icefree land), pastures cover 3 billion ha (20% of global icefree land) which makes total land use is 4,5 billion ha (30% of total land).


By increasing the food production, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) are also increasing, which affect on climate change. Greenhouse gases which occur at agriculture production are CO2, CH4, N2O. Emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are from crop and livestock production and management activities, and emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) is from cultivated organic soils. Of the total amount of greenhouse gases, in agricultural production occurs about 30%. Thereof agricultural soil produce 32%, livestock 31%, crops cultivation 12%, from manure management occure 6% and 19% of other emissions.


If we take a look at greenhouse production by regions, more than 50% of greenhouse gasses are produced in USA and Europe.


To reduce greenhouse gases concentration and their emission initiated an international organization UNFCCC (United nation framework convention on climate change). Made by developed countries that want to improve environmental statistics related to agriculture, to better inform analysis, planning and decision making in the context of food security and sustainable development. Did you know?

  • Agriculture and forestry account for 2% of total world energy used
  • The world land area dedicated to agriculture is 38.5%
  • Cattle and buffaloes make up 6% of the world’s livestock
  • Poultry birds now account for over 80% of all livestock
  • Agriculture uses 70% of exploited fresh water and even 90% of the total world water withdrawal.