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Effect of Feeding System on Enteric Methane Emissions from Individual Dairy Cows on Commercial Farms

School of Biosciences, Sutton Bonington Campus, The University of Nottingham, Loughborough LE12 5RD, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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This study investigated the effects of feeding system on diurnal enteric methane (CH4) emissions from individual cows on commercial farms. Data were obtained from 830 cows across 12 farms, and data collated included production records, CH4 measurements (in the breath of cows using CH4 analysers at robotic milking stations for at least seven days) and diet composition. Cows received either a partial mixed ration (PMR) or a PMR with grazing. A linear mixed model was used to describe variation in CH4 emissions per individual cow and assess the effect of feeding system. Methane emissions followed a consistent diurnal pattern across both feeding systems, with emissions lowest between 05:00 and 08:59, and with a peak concentration between 17:00 and 20:59. No overall difference in emissions was found between feeding systems studied; however, differences were found in the diurnal pattern of CH4 emissions between feeding systems. The response in emissions to increasing dry matter intake was higher for cows fed PMR with grazing. This study showed that repeated spot measurements of CH4 emissions whilst cows are milked can be used to assess the effects of feeding system and potentially benchmark farms on level of emissions. View Full-Text
Keywords: cattle; greenhouse gas; measurements; diet; variation cattle; greenhouse gas; measurements; diet; variation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Eckert, M.; Bell, M.; Potterton, S.; Craigon, J.; Saunders, N.; Wilcox, R.; Hunter, M.; Goodman, J.; Garnsworthy, P. Effect of Feeding System on Enteric Methane Emissions from Individual Dairy Cows on Commercial Farms. Land 2018, 7, 26.

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