A universal equation to predict methane production of forage-fed cattle in Australia

Charmley, E., Williams, S.R.O., Moate, P.J., Hegarty, R.S., Herd, R.M., Oddy, V.H., Reyenga, P., Staunton, K.M., Anderson, A., and Hannah, M.C. (2016) A universal equation to predict methane production of forage-fed cattle in Australia. Animal Production Science, 56 (3). pp. 169-180.

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The methods for estimating methane emissions from cattle as used in the Australian national inventory are based on older data that have now been superseded by a large amount of more recent data. Recent data suggested that the current inventory emissions estimates can be improved. To address this issue, a total of 1034 individual animal records of daily methane production (MP) was used to reassess the relationship between MP and each of dry matter intake (DMI) and gross energy intake (GEI). Data were restricted to trials conducted in the past 10 years using open-circuit respiration chambers, with cattle fed forage-based diets (forage >70%). Results from diets considered to inhibit methanogenesis were omitted from the dataset. Records were obtained from dairy cattle fed temperate forages (220 records), beef cattle fed temperate forages (680 records) and beef cattle fed tropical forages (133 records). Relationships were very similar for all three production categories and single relationships for MP on a DMI or GEI basis were proposed for national inventory purposes. These relationships were MP (g/day) = 20.7 (±0.28) × DMI (kg/day) (R2 = 0.92, P < 0.001) and MP (MJ/day) = 0.063 (±0.008) × GEI (MJ/day) (R2 = 0.93, P < 0.001). If the revised MP (g/day) approach is used to calculate Australia’s national inventory, it will reduce estimates of emissions of forage-fed cattle by 24%. Assuming a global warming potential of 25 for methane, this represents a 12.6 Mt CO2-e reduction in calculated annual emissions from Australian cattle.

Item ID: 51056
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-5787
Keywords: beef, dairy, emissions intensity, tropical
Funders: Australian Department of the Environment, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)
Projects and Grants: MLA Reducing Emissions from Livestock Research Program, MLA National Livestock Methane Program
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 00:46
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3003 Animal production > 300399 Animal production not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830301 Beef Cattle @ 100%
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