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Managing sheep pastures to reduce methane production

  • Feed intake and methane emissions are influenced by the digestibility of the pasture and the concentration of plant secondary compounds such as tannins.

    Managing pastures to maintain a higher proportion of legumes is therefore a strategy that farmers could potentially adopt to reduce CO2 emissions.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)

Managing stocking rate to reduce carbon emissions in sheep

  • About 80 per cent of the variation in methane production is explained by feed intake.

    Reducing the stocking rate of sheep on the farm reduces the pasture consumption and methane production per hectare.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)

Nutrition and feed additives to reduce methane emissions in sheep

  • Improved grazing and feeding practices can reduce methane emissions per unit of product (feed efficiency) or emissions per unit of feed intake (methane yield).

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Sheep genetics in methane reduction

  • Selective breeding is an option for decreasing methane emissions. Through selection methane (CH4) production is lowered per unit of feed intake (that is, lower CH4 yield).

    Additionally, sheep eat less per unit produced and therefore produce less CH4.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)

Sheep reproduction and reducing methane emissions

  • Mating ewes at around eight to 10 months could enable farmers to reduce whole farm methane production, because this practice would reduce the number of adult ewes which produce more methane.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)