Benefits of managing pastures to reduce methane emissions from cattle
Carbon benefits do not exist: using high quality pastures and legumes, and plants containing tannins, would probably not qualify as additional.
- High quality pasture increases animal production per kilogram of dry matter intake.
- Tannins can protect feed proteins from microbial breakdown in the rumen resulting in reduced nitrogen excretion and increased amount of protein available for uptake by the animal.
- There is potential to use palatable shrubs and pasture species that decrease methane production.
- Methane production per head can be lowered by more than 20% in some controlled grazing systems.
- The stems and root systems of woody perennial shrubs are a potential source of carbon credits.
Risks of managing pastures to reduce methane emissions from cattle
- There are no approved methodologies for this activity.
- There are no accurate techniques for measuring feed intake and methane emissions from livestock in commercial grazing.
- There is an unpredictable variation in methane emissions between animals and across different environments.
- Pasture species that reduce methane production are yet to be commercialised.