Bovine emissions checked to curb climate change

By Paul Hemsley

The federal government in on the move to sniff out a qualified consultant to review the methods and data used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from dairy cattle in the Australian National Greenhouse Accounts (ANGA).

The potential contractor will be expected to develop a method for estimating methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from pre-weaned dairy calves, identify how manure management can be changed, identify required changes to feed quality data, and review intake and nitrogen excretion calculations.

Cattle are a verified and significant contributor to greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere through their methane emissions and manure output. Finding out just how significant had prompted the Department of Industry to issue a request for tender seeking a specialist to review how these gasses are measured.

The results of this review are expected to be published in the ANGA.

The ANGA was part of an agreement between the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and participating nations through the Kyoto Protocol to develop, publish and regularly update national greenhouse gas inventories.

According to the most recent ANGA report released in March 2013, overall agriculture emissions increased by three per cent compared to the previous 12 months, which was primarily driven by increases in emissions from “savanna burning” and “enteric fermentation emissions” from livestock.

However the last comprehensive review of the dairy cattle methods and data was conducted in 2000, so the Department has moved to review and revise the data to ensure it reflects present and possible future animal, feed and waste management practices.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required