Analysis showed that producing the same amount of U.S. beef without using productivity-enhancing technologies would require these additional resources each and every year: 10 million more beef cattle, 17 million more acres of land for grazing and growing feed, 81 million more tons of cattle feed, and 138 billion more gals. of water. In the U.S. alone, 18 million more metric tons of CO2 would be released into the atmosphere.

These effects would be equivalent to imposing an 8.2% tax on U.S. beef farmers and ranchers, causing domestic beef production to be reduced by 17%.

If total global beef production stayed the same in this scenario, other countries would increase beef production. Within 15 years, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Australia would increase beef exports by 36%, 24%, 11% and 5%, respectively. These four countries also would release 3.1 billion more metric tons of CO2.

“The biggest single impact would come from the destruction of 16.9 million acres of Amazon Rainforest and forests in the West Central Cerrado regions of Brazil,” Capper says. “Losing the ability to use safe, approved technologies will create significant environmental and economic challenges that are undesirable and unnecessary.”