Impact of concentrate feeding and rumination on the methane production of cows in a pasture-based automatic milking system

Lucinda Watt, C.E.F. Clark, Gaye Krebs, Christopher Petzel, S.A. Utsumi

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper


The impact of ruminant greenhouse gas emissions on the environment is an issue of global concern. The differential effect of grain-based concentrate (GBC) feeding and rumination level on the enteric methane output of cows was tested in a pasture-based, automatic milking system (AMS). Two close groups of cows (n=30/group) representing either consistently high (HR; 619.85 ± 8.89 min/d) or low (LR; 472.50 ± 10.22 min/d) rumination animals were selected and assigned to three GBC treatments offering same pasture and 7, 8.5, or 10 kg/d of GBC obtained by the offering of 7 kg/d of grain-based pellet plus 0, 1.5 and 3 kg/d of ground shelled corn (n=10 cows/GBC level). Rumination time, mass flux of methane (QCH4) and carbon dioxide (QCO2), milk production, and dry matter intake (DMI) derived from QCO2 measurements, was recorded and analysed with mixed models for a completely randomised design and structural equation models. Regardless of the level of rumination, there was only a marginal effect of GBC feeding on QCH4. However, evidence for differential effects of DMI on milk production and QCH4 support promising opportunities to reduce yield of QCH4/milk in grazing dairy cows.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent topics in dairy production
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
PublisherDairy Research Foundation, The University of Sydney
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
EventDairy Research Foundation Symposium: Current Topics in Dairy Production - Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Duration: 15 Jun 201617 Jun 2016


ConferenceDairy Research Foundation Symposium
CityWagga Wagga
Internet address


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