Greenhouse Gas Mitigation
The production of methane is a characteristic by-product of the digestive process of ruminant animals, that allows them to produce meat, milk and wool from eating grasses and other fibrous feedstuffs. Methane plays a critical role in removing the hydrogen produced in microbial fermentation in the large fore-stomach (rumen) of these animals, allowing efficient digestion, growth and performance. Methane is also a greenhouse gas that is approximately 10% of the national greenhouse inventory.
Through the Australian Government's Carbon Farming Futures program, MLA is involved in managing research projects to identify opportunities for beef, sheep and goatmeat producers to reduce emissions from livestock.
Reducing Emissions from Livestock Research Program
MLA managed the Reducing Emissions from Livestock Research Program (RELRP), which consisted of 23 projects to reduce livestock methane emissions, under the Commonwealth Government's Climate Change Research Program. RELRP concluded on June 30 2012. Throughout the program major research groups in Australia, with expertise in the science of rumen biology and livestock management, collaborated to develop practical on-farm options for reducing methane emissions from livestock while at the same time increasing productivity.
National Livestock Methane Program
Research to reduce livestock emissions was complete with funding from the Commonwealth Government under the Filling the Research Gap program which covered five key research areas including reducing methane emissions from both livestock and manure. MLA coordinated and managing this research under the National Livestock Methane Program.
Farm300 was a program from MLA offering cattle and sheep producers advisor training and support to build practical knowledge and skills that can boost on-farm production and profitability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.
Funded through the Australian Government’s Carbon Farming Futures Extension and Outreach (E&O) Program, Farm300 was managed by MLA in partnership with the Australian Farm Institute, Australian Wool Innovation and Dairy Australia.