Statistics on U.S. Improvements in Beef Production and Emission Intensity

US Emissions Graph
Emissions Line Graphs

Data Sources and Criteria Used:

On FAOSTAT (FAOSTAT) for Enteric Fermentation, the following criteria were implemented:   

Countries = United States of America
Items = Cattle, non-dairy
Elements = Stocks, CH4 Emissions
Years = 1961, 2020
Note: Use GWP of 28 for methane in calculations to align with current recommendations.    

Output Used: 

(1) Stocks in Head per year               
(2) Emissions (CH4) in kilotonnes per year
*Note: 1 kilotonne = 1 Gg    

On NASS Quickstats (USDA/NASS QuickStats Ad-hoc Query Tool), the following criteria were implemented:   

Program = Survey
Sector = Animals & Products
Group = Livestock
Commodity = Beef
Category = Production
Choose Data Items = Beef, Slaughter – Production measures in LB
Geographic Level = National
State = US Total
Year: 1961, 2020     

Output Used: (1) Slaughter Beef, lb CW Equivalent     

Using FAOSTAT and NASS query results, the following calculations were completed:   

  1. Calculated kg Beef by taking Slaughter Beef, lb CWeq (from NASS) * 0.454 where 0.454 is the conversion factor for lbs to kg.  
  2. Calculated kg Beef/Head by taking kg Beef calculated above and dividing it by number of Head (from FAO). 
  3. Calculated g CO2e by taking Gg CH4 (from FAO), converting it to g CH4 (1 Gg = 1000000000 g), and multiplying by 28 (the GWP of methane). 
  4. Calculated g CO2e/kg Beef by taking g CO2e divided by kg Beef.