Measurement of Long-Term CH4 Emissions and Emission Factors from Beef Feedlots in Australia
One of the major challenges for the Australian feedlot and meat sectors is to have accurate and robust long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data. Long-term measurements of methane (CH4) emissions (2015–2017) were made at two Australian beef feedlots having different climates, cattle types, and management practices. Emissions were measured using the inverse-dispersion model (IDM) micrometeorological technique, using CH4 concentrations measured at the feedlots with a closed-path Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic technique (CP-FTIR). The emissions data were used to evaluate methods used by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water to estimate CH4 emissions from feedlots in Australian national inventory calculations. Expressed as a CH4 yield (emissions per unit dry matter intake, DMI), the two feedlots had emissions of 13.1 and 18.9 g CH4 kg−1 DMI. The lower-emitting feedlot had emissions that were 30% lower than the national inventory calculations based on feed intakes, while the second feedlot had emissions that were similar to the inventory calculations. The accurate quantification of emissions from feedlots, as demonstrated as part of this study, is important for validating the national accounting methods and therefore the sector’s GHG emissions profile.
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Meat and Livestock Australia