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The overall aim of this programme of work is to identify and demonstrate that management strategies to reduce GHG emissions intensity already exist and that they are practical and cost effective.
The programme includes two objectives:
- GHG emissions on sheep and beef farms (aligned to P21 programme)
- GHG emissions on dairy farms (aligned to Beef + Lamb NZ environment focused farm programme)
Dr Robyn Dynes, AgResearch
Collaborative work investigating GHG emissions from dairy farms
by NZAGRC Team
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.