Our Views on

Bayer’s Position on Sustainable Beef Production


There are approximately 1 billion cattle in the world today , a number that has been flat for the past decade but is expected to rise by 30% over the next 30 years as diets change around the world.  Livestock production globally is responsible for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions and cattle production is the largest emitter within the livestock sector.  About 10% of the global feed for cattle comes from grain with 57% coming from grass and leaves and the remainder coming from crop residues such as corn stalks.  Feed production and processing make up 45% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions. This has been correctly identified as a major risk to agriculture that if not addressed by industry, will be addressed by government.  Fortunately, according to the FAO, wider adoption of current best practices in feeding, health and husbandry, and manure management can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in livestock by 30%.  Research shows that beef production is getting more efficient and more sustainable. For example, in the US beef production has increased from 16 billion pounds in 1960 to 27 billion pounds in 2018 while reducing the size of the herd from 97.8 million to 88.5 million.

Bayer’s Position

Global meat consumption is projected to only increase into the future.  As an innovation company in agriculture, we believe farmers are at the center of the best possible solutions to our current and future environmental challenges. Bayer is committed to being a partner with these farmers and others to help sustainably meet the growing demands of the world for protein while helping to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the beef industry through innovation. Bayer supports and respects local diets and empowers farmers from all backgrounds and practices to support themselves, their families, and their communities.  In 2018, Bayer committed to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions in production agriculture by 30% through innovation and collaboration with our customers and supply chains. For Bayer, farmers and ranchers, who are stewards of the land, are not just part of the solution, they actually are the solution amid the growing global demand for their products.  

What Bayer is Doing

Bayer is leading the research efforts where we have expertise and we are investing in areas where we can partner to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including in the life cycle of cattle.

Where Bayer is Leading

  • Reducing the carbon footprint of corn production through driving increased productivity on existing corn acres6
  • Promoting farming practices that sequester carbon in the soil and assisting farmers in quantifying their impact 7
  • Developing the next generation of corn – short corn – which will further increase productivity and reduce emissions 8

Where Bayer is Investing

  • Microbials that may someday help plants fixate nitrogen from the air and therefore reduce the need for fertilizer produced from natural gas.
  • Alternative proteins that can help supplement the meat supply to meet increasing protein demand of societies around the world


Where Bayer can Partner

  • Leveraging our world class breeding organization to improve the quality of feed to improve feed efficiency
  • Advocating for the spread of industry leading practices to improve the efficiency of meat production across the whole value chain through partnerships such as our Better Life Farming initiative
  • Work with stakeholders to share industry leading efforts on sustainability to ensure our sector has a seat at the table in the global discussion around the future of food