Reducing GHG emissions through livestock feed: study

30 March, 2011 by (comments)

A new study from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has shown that feeding cattle and sheep increased quantities of maize silage, high-sugar grasses, and hull-less oats can reduce their methane production by a third, in proportion to milk and meat production.


Methane released by livestock comprises about 43% of the UK’s methane emissions therefore this research could be a boon for reducing overall agriculture-based emissions. However, scientists advise that further investigation is needed to determine the efficiencies of implementing new livestock feeding systems.

The findings also add to a growing body of evidence that the right kind of livestock farming can actually help reduce emissions and conserve the environment, for example the use of Brachiaria, a forage grass, which helps to retain soil nitrogen.

Related articles:

Brachiaria – part of a sustainable solution

CIAT & Brachiaria on Voice of America

CIAT Brief – Livestock and Climate Change

CIAT Tropical Forages Program

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