14 September 2000
Search for ways to reduce methane

By FWi staff

METHANE belched out by Australias sheep accounts for one-seventh of the nations total greenhouse gas emissions, reports the Financial Times.

Csiro, the Australian national science organisation, is testing for means to cut methane emissions and increase production of meat, wool and milk.

It is considering improved grazing systems, feed additives that curb methane production and a vaccine that inhibits methane-generating organisms.

Protected feeds — which stops proteins and fats being attacked by microbes so they pass deeper into the animals system are also being investigated.

A trial on beef cattle led to a gain of up to 15% in feed conversion, and in dairy cattle produced milk 25% less fat saturated.