Livestock methane research

​​Livestock methane research undertaken through the Climate Change Research Program developed Australia’s ability to measure methane emissions from livestock. The research also examined a range of mitigation techniques including genetic, feed and microbial approaches.

Some key findings

  • Feed additives such as plant derived fats, tannins and plant essential oils researched in a ‘test system’ showed they had a methane abatement potential of 5–18 per cent.
  • The research findings show that low methane potential in cattle and sheep has a genetic basis and is heritable. This indicates that breeding for low emission cattle and sheep is possible.
  • A range of tropical legumes, alternative and novel forages, and plant extracts are capable of reducing methane in the rumen. The best methane reducing properties in cattle were achieved using plant extracts of Eremophila glabra.

A technical summary highlighting the key findings on livestock methane research through the Climate Change Research Program is provided below:

Fact sheets, case studies and DVD’s providing an overview the Climate Change Research Program and a summary of the research outcomes are available.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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