Livestock production systems

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About this Collection

Livestock production systems

A spatially disaggregated global livestock dataset containing information on biomass use, production, feed efficiency, excretion, and greenhouse gas emissions for 28 world regions, 8 livestock production systems, 4 animal species (cattle, small ruminants, pigs, and poultry), and 3 livestock products (milk, meat, and eggs) for the year 2000. The da... more

Animal Production not elsewhere classified Crop and Pasture Biomass and Bioproducts Environmental Impact Assessment

01 Jan 2000

31 Dec 2000

CSIRO Enquiries
1300 363 400

Global Change Sustainability GHG emissions Land Use




Herrero et al. 2013.



A livestock systems classification updated by Robinson et al (2011) was used as the starting point. It is based on agro-ecological differentiation (arid, humid and temperate/tropical highland areas), which helps in establishing the composition of diets for animals in different regions and agro-agroecologies and in the future to elicit the impacts that climate change might have on feed resources and land use. We differentiated 8 different types of livestock systems in 28 geographical regions of the world for this study. Numbers of animals for each of these systems and regions were estimated using the data of Wint and Robinson (2007) for the year 2000. For ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats), we disaggregated the dairy and beef cattle herds using livestock demographic data for total cattle, sheep and goats and the dairy females for each species, respectively, from FAOSTAT. We used herd dynamics models parameterised for each region and production system using reproduction and mortality rates obtained from extensive literature reviews to estimate herd composition. For monogastrics (pigs and poultry), we only differentiated two systems: smallholder and industrial production systems. The allocation of poultry, eggs and pork production was done on the basis of knowledge of the total product output from these two systems from national information from selected countries in the different regions, applied to the respective region. Biomass consumption and productivity estimations from different species in each region and system followed a three stage process. First, feed availability of four main types of feeds (grass, crop residues, grains, occasional feeds) was estimated using hybrid maps of grassland productivity and EPIC model output (Havlik et al 2013) for humid and temperate regions of the world. Crop residue availability was estimated using the SPAM cropland layers (You et al 2014) and coefficients of stover use for animal feeding and harvest indexes for different parts of the world. Grain availability for animal production was taken from the FAO Commodity balance sheets and the availability of occasional feeds like cut and carry grasses and legumes was obtained from literature reviews. The second step consisted of developing feasible diets for each species in each region and production system. The proportions of each feed in the diet of each species was obtained from extensive information available in the literature and from databases and feeding practice surveys at key research centres in the world (i.e. FAO, ILRI). Data on feed quality was obtained from the databases containing regional feed composition data for each feed (Herrero et al 2008). The third step consisted of estimating productivity. For ruminants, the information on the quantity and quality of the different feeds was then used to parameterise an IPCC tier 3 digestion and metabolism model (RUMINANT, Herrero et al 2002), as described in Herrero et al (2008) and Thornton and Herrero (2010). The model estimated productivity (milk, meat), methane emissions and manure and nitrogen excretion. For monogastrics, information on feed quality was used to estimate feed intake, productivity and feed use efficiency using standard nutrient requirements guidelines (NRC 2008). The estimation of methane and nitrous oxide emissions from manure, and of nitrous oxide from pastures followed an IPCC tier 2 approach, for each species, system and region. Further details are available in the Supplementary Information of Herrero et al. 2013. All information on animal production (bovine milk, bovine meat, sheep and goat milk, sheep and goat meat, pork, poultry and eggs) and for grains as feed was harmonised with FAOSTAT’s commodity balance sheets at national level following an iterative procedure restricted to deviate +/- 20% from the statistical data in FAOSTAT. The size of the collection is 1.32 GB, 192 zip files.

Development of the data has been made possible by CSIRO, and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), with support from the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security Programme; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Futures for Agriculture project; and the EU FP7 AnimalChange project. Please cite Herrero, M., Havlík, P., Valin, H., Notenbaert, A., Rufino, M. C., Thornton, P. K., … Obersteiner, M. (2013). Biomass use, production, feed efficiencies, and greenhouse gas emissions from global livestock systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(52), 20888–20893.

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence

CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (Kenya), CSIRO (Australia), Interational Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) (Kenya), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria)

Herrero, Mario; Havlik, Petr; Valin, Hugo; Notenbaert, An; Rufino, Mariana; Thornton, Philip K; Blümmel, Michael; Weiss, Franz; Grace, Delia; Obersteiner, Michael (2018): Livestock production systems. v2. CSIRO. Data Collection.

All Rights (including copyright) CSIRO 2018.

The metadata and files (if any) are available to the public.

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Location Details

84°0′0″ N

56°0′0″ S

180°0′0″ E

180°0′0″ W


About this Project


Mario Herrero Acosta

Petr Havlik

Hugo Valin

An Notenbaert

Mariana Rufino

Philip K Thornton

Michael Blümmel

Franz Weiss

Delia Grace

Michael Obersteiner

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