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Title: The impact of breeding to reduce residual feed intake on enteric methane emissions from the Australian beef industry
Contributor(s): Alford, AR (author); Hegarty, R (author); Parnell, PF (author); Cacho, Oscar Jose (author)orcid ; Herd, RM (author); Griffith, Garry (author)
Publication Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1071/EA05300
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Abstract: The expected reduction in methane emissions from the Australian beef herd resulting from using bulls identified as being more feed efficient as a result of having a lower residual feed intake (RFI) was modelled, both in a single herd in southern Australia and in the national herd. A gene flow model was developed to simulate the spread of improved RFI genes through a breeding herd over 25 years, from 2002 to 2026. Based on the estimated gene flow, the voluntary feed intakes were revised annually for all beef classes using livestock populations taken from the Australian National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI). Changes in emissions (kg methane/animal.year) associated with the reduction in feed intake were then calculated using NGGI procedures. Annual enteric methane emissions from both the individual and national herd were calculated by multiplying the livestock numbers in each beef class by the revised estimates of emissions per animal. For an individual adopting herd, the annual methane abatement in year 25 of selection was 15.9% lower than in year 1. For the national herd, differential lags and limits to adoption were assumed for northern and southern Australia. The cumulative reduction in national emissions was 568 100 t of methane over 25 years, with annual emissions in year 25 being 3.1% lower than in year 1. It is concluded that selection for reduced RFI will lead to substantial and lasting methane abatement, largely as a consequence of its implementation as a breeding objective for the grazing beef herd.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 46(7), p. 813-820
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Collingwood, Australia
ISSN: 0816-1089
Field of Research (FOR): 140201 Agricultural Economics
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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