Australian researchers aim to produce more meat, less methane

Researchers have committed to a suite of 5-year research projects
calendar icon 23 May 2023
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Producers and researchers are working together in a ground-breaking Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Donor Company-funded program to establish how to produce more red meat while emitting less methane, according to a press release from MLA.

Through the new Pastures for Carbon Neutrality program, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and MLA Donor Company have committed to a suite of five-year research projects to investigate complex interactions between soil, plant and animal performance. The program is part of MLA’s Emissions Avoidance Partnership and feedbase research and development investments.

Pastures for Carbon Neutrality will work with producers to investigate opportunities to reduce methane emissions from livestock through the most appropriate pasture combinations and management. It focuses on effective management of acidic soils.

NSW DPI Temperate Pastures leader Dr Kathryn Egerton-Warburton said in order to progress towards the industry’s goal of carbon neutrality 2030, practice change has to result in the production system being at least as productive as it is today.

“Engagement with producers and industry stakeholders throughout this program will ensure recommendations have a focus on productivity and profitability targets in addressing objectives of reduced methane emissions and improved soil carbon sequestration,” she said.

The Pastures for Carbon Neutrality program covers three main areas: the planting of low methane emissions pastures, management of soil acidic soils, and the development of rapid near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology for use in assessing feed quality in pastures.

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