Greenhouse gases have become an all-important topic in the last decades. Methane emissions by farming practices have taken special attention and mitigation strategies are an everyday topic related to climate change. Within agriculture, dairy production is one of the main causes of methane emissions.
It is of great importance to quantify methane emissions of cattle to reduce its impact. Measurements of methane production from dairy cattle are possible in several ways; however, due to management and prices it is unrealistic to perfom them in commercial farms. This is where prediction of methane production through equations become of great importance. These equations are excellent alternatives to the expensive and cumbersome measurements. For these equations to be viable precision and accuracy are essential characteristics.
Several methane prediction equations have been developed based on different data around the globe and considering parameters related to diet composition. Appuhamy et al. (2016) compared 40 methane predictive equations. All equations were compared using data of different regions separately. Results show that NorFor's methane prediction equation (Nielsen et al. 2013) ranked first for predicting enteric methane for dairy cows in North America and was inside the top 3 in Australia and New Zealand.
NorFor methane equation was developed from a dataset including 12 trials and 47 treatments collected from research institutes in Denmark (Aarhus University), Norway (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) and Sweden (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). In this equation, enteric methane prediction holds a positive relationship with Dry matter intake and NDF and a negative relationship with fatty acids in the diet.
For more information about methane prediction in the NorFor system contact R&D manager Nicolaj Ingemann Nielsen.
Appuhamy, J. A. D. R. N., France, J. and Kebreab, E. (2016), Models for predicting enteric methane emissions from dairy cows in North America, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Global Change Biology, 22: 3039–3056. doi:10.1111/gcb.13339
Nielsen, N. I., Volden, H., Åkerlind, M., Brask, M., Hellwing, A.L.F., Storlien, T. & Bertilsson, J. (2013). A prediction equation for enteric methane emission from dairy cows for use in NorFor. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, 63: 126-130. doi:10.1080/09064702.2013.851275