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About 80% of the variation in methane production is explained by feed intake. Reducing the stocking rate of sheep on the farm reduces the pasture consumption and methane production per hectare.
Nitrous oxide, a highly active greenhouse gas, is released from pastures and crops using nitrogen fertilisers.
Spreading clay on light, sandy soils helps to increase soil water holding capacity, retain nutrients and overcome water repellence.
Feed additives or supplements can reduce methane emissions from ruminant livestock.
Pastures that reduce methane emissions can be categorised into high quality grasses and legumes, and plants containing secondary metabolites such as tannins.
Feed intake and methane emissions are influenced by the digestibility of the pasture and the concentration of plant secondary compounds such as tannins.
Mating ewes earlier (at 8 to 10 months of age) could enable farmers to reduce whole-farm methane production because this practice would reduce the number of adult ewes, which produce more methane.
Selective breeding of sheep is an option for decreasing methane emissions. Through selection, methane production can be lowered per unit of feed intake.
Improved grazing and feeding management of sheep can reduce methane emissions per unit of product (feed efficiency) or emissions per unit of feed intake (methane yield).
The aim of carbon farming is to sequester more carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as part of Australia's response to climate change.