Low GHG Feeds (partnered with PGgRc)

Aim: Develop feeds and feeding strategies that results in reduced GHG emissions from livestock

What does success look like?

Low GHG feeds and strategies adopted on farm.

How will we get there?

  1. Confirm that ruminant feeds can provide lower GHG options
  2. Incorporate feed options into New Zealand's Greenhouse Gas Inventory
  3. Integrate feed options into New Zealand farm systems.

What input is needed?

Science is needed to develop fundamental science, gathering evidence for incorporation into New Zealand's Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Commercial input it needed to incorporate low GHG feeds ito New Zealand farming practice and have the impact reflected in New Zealand's Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

Commercial input may also be needed if a specific plant factor is identified to partner with plant breeding companies to have that factor incorporated into forage. 

What's the timeline?



 Lead research partner

AgResearch Limited

Latest progress

"During 2014/15 the feeds programme continued to build onto the finding that feeding some brassicas (forage rape) results in lower methane emissions when compared with perennial ryegrass diets. We demonstrated that methane emissions from sheep linearly decreased as the levels of forage rape included in the diet increased. This suggests that reductions in methane emissions observed in brassicas occur through a different mechanism to those elicited by feeding grains. Future work will focus on looking at the whole system effects of increasing the quantity of forage rape fed. We have been able to translate knowledge generated as part of our brassica studies into identifying fodder beet as a potential low GHG feed. In an initial study with sheep, feeding a diet of 90% and 10% grass resulted in a methane emission reduction of 50%. We are currently following up and confirming results from this first study using a broader range of fodder beet inclusion rates. We conducted an initial assessment of the potential of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) to predict methane yields from forages fed to ruminants. Although modest, the predictive ability of the NIRS calibration could be considered useful for screening purposes, particularly in terms of obtaining an initial, non-experimental prediction of the potential methane yield of a feed."

Read full annual report