Journal article

Accuracy of micrometeorological techniques for detecting a change in methane emissions from a herd of cattle

Johannes Laubach, Mei Bai, Cesar S Pinares-Patino, Frances A Phillips, Travis A Naylor, German Molano, Edgar A Cardenas Rocha, David WT Griffith



Micrometeorological techniques are effective in measuring methane (CH4) emission rates at the herd scale, but their suitability as verification tools for emissions mitigation depends on the uncertainty with which they can detect a treatment difference. An experiment was designed to test for a range of techniques whether they could detect a change in weekly mean emission rate from a herd of cattle, in response to a controlled change in feed supply. The cattle were kept in an enclosure and fed pasture baleage, of amounts increasing from one week to the next. Methane emission rates were measured at the herd scale by the following techniques: (1) an external tracer-ratio technique, releasing nit..

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Awarded by ARC Linkage Grant

Funding Acknowledgements

The experiment and the involvement of the NZ-based authors were funded by New Zealand's Foundation of Research, Science and Technology (FRST) until 2011, and by Core Funding for Crown Research Institutes from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Science and Innovation Group since. The participation of the University of Wollongong was funded by ARC Linkage Grant LP0561000, E.A. Cardenas R. received a fellowship from the Livestock Emissions Abatement Research Network (LEARN) of NZ's Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry. The experiment would not have been possible without the logistical backing of Steve Lees (Aorangi Farm) and his staff. We thank Dan Robinson for drafting the animals and weighing and distributing their feed supply, Edgar Sandoval for help with the animal handling, and Sarah McLean and Grant Taylor for laboratory analyses (all AgResearch). Tony McSeveny and Peter Berben (Landcare Research) were instrumental in setting up the scientific equipment. We thank Dr. Frank Kelliher for the initial idea of this experiment and valuable advice throughout the planning stages.