12 Dec 2011

Supplementary cattle feed's effect on methane researched

7:06 am on 12 December 2011

The New Zealand Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium is investigating the affect of supplementary cattle feed on the animals' methane emissions.

An Australian study has found that cattle-fed dried grape skin seeds and stalks left over from wine making emitted 20% less methane compared with those fed on conventional fodder.

The consortium's manager Mark Aspin says that could have potential here too.

But he says its research is currently focused on the main supplementary feeds used in New Zealand, which include grass silage, maize silage, palm kernel expeller (PKE) and forage crops.

Mr Aspin says there are no cost effective solutions for reducing methane at the moment.

He says the trial has just started and it will probably take a couple of months to get any results.