Exploring practical GHG mitigation options for New Zealand dairy farms

Aim: Develop profitable dairy farming strategies that result in lower greenhouse gas emissions.

What does success look like?

Proven profitable strategies that minimize greenhouse gases.

How will we get there?

  1. GHG monitoring & measurements aligned with industry field trials (P21 programme)

  2. Whole farm modelling to understand impacts of dierent farming practices on GHGs

  3. Development of key messages to assist extension work

What input is needed?

Science is needed to demonstrate and evaluate farming practices that minimize greenhouse gas emissions intensity.

Commercial input is needed to promote research and proven strategies via industry channels.

What's the timeline?

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Lead research partner

AgResearch Limited

Latest progress

"COLLABORATIVE WORK INVESTIGATING GHG EMISSIONS FROM DAIRY FARMS: During 2015/16, the dairy component of the programme has continued progress towards understanding potential for practical mitigation options to result in lower GHG footprints for dairy farming.

Methane and nitrous oxide measurements on dairy farmlets, testing a range of  mitigation options, including high genetic merit cows (Waikato), low N fertilizer input (Waikato) and diverse pastures (Canterbury), have been completed. These data enable mitigation options to be considered within a farming system context.

Methane emissions from cows grazing fodder beet during winter and early lactation can lead to a reduction of 10-20% under some conditions. This is an important result as industry uptake of fodder beet as a winter feed option and as a transition feed used on the milking platform in both late and early lactation is increasing. These findings together with data from the FRNL programme on fodder beet will enable farm systems modelling to understand the wider environmental impacts of increased fodder beet usage."

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