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Evaluation and optimization of greenfeed emission monitoring units for livestock

​GreenFeed Emission Monitoring (GEM) Units are a commercially developed measurement system that allows estimation of daily enteric methane production (DMP) from cattle based on averaging multiple short term (3-6min) measures of methane emission. GEMs were developed in 2010 but had been little tested. This project was responsible for validating the accuracy of DMP estimation by GEM, for developing guidelines on the number of samples that are required to establish emission reduction and the emission phenotype of an individual. In addition the project led to the development of a commercial sheep GEM unit. No differences between GEM and respiration chamber determined DMP were detected, so confirming the accuracy of the units, with units being used to demonstrate effects of nitrate and of animal genotype on DMP in research trials and demonstration sites. The GEM unit has commercial application in (1) phenotyping cattle (and potentially sheep) for their methane phenotype as part of a genetic improvement program; (2) verifying on-farm mitigation and (3) underpinning inventory estimate estimates is used in the field for prolonged periods. There is need for evaluation of potential GEM impacts on grazing behaviour and emissions in more extensive environments to provide assurance that the process of being measured does not interfere with the natural behaviour and emission of the animals studied.




Title Size Date published
1.6MB 31/08/2015


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
Evaluation and optimization of GreenFeed Emission Monitoring units for livestock – Department of Agriculture Ref No 01200.047
17/09/2012 11/12/2015

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