Methane emissions from grazing Angus beef cows selected for divergent residual feed intake

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Residual feed intake (RFI) is the difference between actual feed intake and expected feed intake required for maintenance and production, such as growth of beef cattle and milk production in dairy cattle. RFI has been shown to be linked with a reduction in CH4 emissions in studies that used grain based diets. Our study quantified CH4 emissions from 48 Angus cows selected based on estimated breeding values (EBV) for extremes in RFI. These EBV were based on a post weaning RFI test conducted at the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food Vasse Research Centre. Two groups of cows with divergent RFI were used being: 25 high RFI (i.e., HRFI, low efficiency) cows with an EBV of 0.68±0.220kg/d, and 23 low RFI (i.e., LRFI, high efficiency) cows with an EBV of -0.69±0.335kg/d. Methane emissions were measured under grazing conditions in a Western Australian annual pasture production system using the Open Path Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (OP-FTIR) technique. A group average emission rate was obtained for the two RFI lines of cows. Each group was measured separately over a two 6d periods being in the summer when the cows were pregnant and grazing annual pastures of a low dry matter (DM) digestibility of 550g/kg, and in the winter when the cows were nursing calves and grazing annual pastures with a high DM digestibility of 810g/kg. It was hypothesised that LRFI cows would produce less CH4 when grazing both high and low quality pastures. When pregnant and grazing low quality pastures, both groups of cows produced similar amounts of CH4/day (0.26±0.013 versus 0.26±0.018g CH4/kg of liveweight (LW) for LRFI and HRFI cows respectively. While nursing calves and grazing high quality pastures, there was a difference (P<0.05) in daily CH4 emissions between the LRFI and HRFI cows of 0.34 CH4±0.017 versus 0.46±0.023g CH4/kg LW). The hypothesis that LRFI cows produce less CH4 is not supported by results for these cows grazing low quality summer pasture, but it is supported when grazing high quality winter pastures. Results indicate LRFI cattle may have the potential to contribute to reduced CH4 emissions under grazing systems when provided with a high nutritional quality pasture source.This paper is part of the special issue entitled: Greenhouse Gases in Animal Agriculture - Finding a Balance between Food and Emissions, Guest Edited by T. A. McAllister, Section Guest Editor; K.A. Beauchemin, X. Hao, S. McGinn and Editor for Animal Feed Science and Technology, P.H. Robinson. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Jones, F. M., Phillips, F. A., Naylor, T. & Mercer, N. B. (2011). Methane emissions from grazing Angus beef cows selected for divergent residual feed intake. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 166-167 302-307.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-79958771655

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/5277

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 302

End Page


  • 307

Volume


  • 166-167

Abstract


  • Residual feed intake (RFI) is the difference between actual feed intake and expected feed intake required for maintenance and production, such as growth of beef cattle and milk production in dairy cattle. RFI has been shown to be linked with a reduction in CH4 emissions in studies that used grain based diets. Our study quantified CH4 emissions from 48 Angus cows selected based on estimated breeding values (EBV) for extremes in RFI. These EBV were based on a post weaning RFI test conducted at the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food Vasse Research Centre. Two groups of cows with divergent RFI were used being: 25 high RFI (i.e., HRFI, low efficiency) cows with an EBV of 0.68±0.220kg/d, and 23 low RFI (i.e., LRFI, high efficiency) cows with an EBV of -0.69±0.335kg/d. Methane emissions were measured under grazing conditions in a Western Australian annual pasture production system using the Open Path Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (OP-FTIR) technique. A group average emission rate was obtained for the two RFI lines of cows. Each group was measured separately over a two 6d periods being in the summer when the cows were pregnant and grazing annual pastures of a low dry matter (DM) digestibility of 550g/kg, and in the winter when the cows were nursing calves and grazing annual pastures with a high DM digestibility of 810g/kg. It was hypothesised that LRFI cows would produce less CH4 when grazing both high and low quality pastures. When pregnant and grazing low quality pastures, both groups of cows produced similar amounts of CH4/day (0.26±0.013 versus 0.26±0.018g CH4/kg of liveweight (LW) for LRFI and HRFI cows respectively. While nursing calves and grazing high quality pastures, there was a difference (P<0.05) in daily CH4 emissions between the LRFI and HRFI cows of 0.34 CH4±0.017 versus 0.46±0.023g CH4/kg LW). The hypothesis that LRFI cows produce less CH4 is not supported by results for these cows grazing low quality summer pasture, but it is supported when grazing high quality winter pastures. Results indicate LRFI cattle may have the potential to contribute to reduced CH4 emissions under grazing systems when provided with a high nutritional quality pasture source.This paper is part of the special issue entitled: Greenhouse Gases in Animal Agriculture - Finding a Balance between Food and Emissions, Guest Edited by T. A. McAllister, Section Guest Editor; K.A. Beauchemin, X. Hao, S. McGinn and Editor for Animal Feed Science and Technology, P.H. Robinson. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Jones, F. M., Phillips, F. A., Naylor, T. & Mercer, N. B. (2011). Methane emissions from grazing Angus beef cows selected for divergent residual feed intake. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 166-167 302-307.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-79958771655

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/5277

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 302

End Page


  • 307

Volume


  • 166-167