Agriculture

• A 2003 Swedish study found that beef cattle raised organically on grass emit 40 percent fewer greenhouse gases and use 85 percent less energy to make beef than cattle fed on grain.

• A recent two-year study found that sows raised in hoop houses had more live births than those in confinement facilities. Researchers found that group housing could reduce production costs by as much as 11 percent compared with use of gestation crates.

• In Norway, several large salmon farms have learned that introducing "cleaner" fish into pens dramatically reduces lice and feed wastage, and that the cleaner fish can later be harvested for fishmeal; salmon production remains the same while waste drops by more than half, the incidence of disease drops, and the farm harvests two or three additional crops. Another Norwegian study found that small-scale fisheries generate five times as many jobs per unit of landed value than large-scale fisheries.

• Farmers practicing rice-field culture in Bangladesh have managed to reduce production costs by 10 percent, and the average farm income has increased 16 percent in just three years.

• Smithfield announced in 2005 that it would only buy from suppliers who did not use antibiotics on their animals, and in 2007 Tyson Foods announced that the birds it sells to U.S. grocery stores and restaurants would no longer be treated with antibiotics.

• Wal-Mart announced that within three to five years it would be certifying that all its seafood for the North American market was raised sustainably.

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