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Effect of feeding system on enteric methane emissions from individual dairy cows on commercial farms

Eckert, Max; Bell, Matt; Potterton, Sarah; Craigon, Jim; Saunders, Neil; Wilcox, Ruth; Hunter, Morag; Goodman, Jennifer; Garnsworthy, Phil

Authors

Max Eckert

Matt Bell

Sarah Potterton

Jim Craigon

Neil Saunders

Ruth Wilcox

Morag Hunter

Jennifer Goodman

Phil Garnsworthy

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of feeding system on diurnal enteric methane (CH4) emissions from individual cows on commercial farms. Data were obtained from 830 cows across 12 farms, and data collated included production records, CH4 measurements (in the breath of cows using CH4 analysers at robotic milking stations for at least seven days) and diet composition. Cows received either a partial mixed ration (PMR) or a PMR with grazing. A linear mixed model was used to describe variation in CH4 emissions per individual cow and assess the effect of feeding system. Methane emissions followed a consistent diurnal pattern across both feeding systems, with emissions lowest between 05:00 and 08:59, and with a peak concentration between 17:00 and 20:59. No overall difference in emissions was found between feeding systems studied; however, differences were found in the diurnal pattern of CH4 emissions between feeding systems. The response in emissions to increasing dry matter intake was higher for cows fed PMR with grazing. This study showed that repeated spot measurements of CH4 emissions whilst cows are milked can be used to assess the effects of feeding system and potentially benchmark farms on level of emissions.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 24, 2018
Journal Land
Electronic ISSN 2073-445X
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/land7010026
Keywords cattle; greenhouse gas; measurements; diet; variation
Publisher URL http://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/7/1/26
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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