Ahead of the herd
Innovative Herd Mentality
Brazil’s overall cattle herd numbers around 213.6 million animals, that’s 22% of the world’s cattle and second only to India’s herd. With a herd this size comes a responsibility - in the face of global concerns over the environmental cost of cattle farming, Brazil’s farmers have become the most sustainable and efficient cattle farmers in the world, without compromising their herds’ wellbeing.
Thiago Fortunato, a family farmer with approximately 70,000 animals grazing 50,000 ha of pasture, is one of these Brazilian innovators making cattle farming more sustainable.
Reimagining cattle farming
The Fortunato family have been farming cattle in Brazil’s Rondônia state for 50 years. Since inheriting the farm, Thiago has introduced new technology, good governance, and cost management to hugely improve the farm’s sustainability. This has involved investing in permanent preservation areas, reforestation of farming land to support local biodiversity, and rejecting wood burning and deforestation – factors that have previously been significant parts of environmental concerns around livestock farming.
The Fortunato family farm is also keeping up with modern technology, joining other Brazilian cattle farmers in tracking their cattle using Sisbov, the Brazilian Bovine and Bubaline Identification and Certification System. Sisbov identifies, registers, and individually monitors cattle in Brazil, characterizing the origin, sanitary state, production and productivity of each animal. This system not only ensures Brazilian farmers raise cattle that meet international import/export standards, it also ensures their cattle are disease free, reducing the risk of introducing diseases into ecosystems and reducing the cruel and environmentally damaging slaughter of diseased animals.
But what does a cattle farmer want with UPL’s crop input solutions? In Brazil, over 90% of cattle are farmed on open pasture – and Thiago’s are no exception. He’s using a ProNutiva program, principally consisting of our Famoso, Crescendo, Jacaré, and Zartan herbicides alongside our K-tionic fertilizer. He notes that ProNutiva has increased yields bringing “a real gain in productivity” and allowing the farm to be more land-efficient, limiting environmental impacts without diminishing their animals’ wellbeing.
Feeding the food chain
Despite the sustainability advances he’s made, Thiago isn’t finished. He’s already looking to start sequestering carbon and hopes to take part in our Gigaton Carbon Goal. With farmers like Thiago, it’s exciting to see cattle farms reimagining sustainability too, and we’re as proud to ensure his cattle get food that’s as safe, nutritious, and sustainable as any one of us would expect for ourselves.