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CitationS. Cummins, G.J. Lanigan and K.G. Richards et al. Solutions to enteric methane abatement in Ireland. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research. 2022. DOI: 10.15212/ijafr-2022-0014
AbstractThe efficiency of Ireland’s grass-based livestock systems can be attributed to high outputs, low production costs and a low carbon footprint relative to housed systems. Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) of which enteric fermentation from livestock production is a key source, being directly responsible for 57% of Irish agricultural GHG emissions. There are a number of strategies including dietary manipulation and breeding initiatives that have shown promising results as potential mitigation solutions for ruminant livestock production. However, the majority of international research has predominantly been conducted on confined systems. Given the economic viability of Irish livestock systems, it is vital that any mitigation methods are assessed at pasture. Such research cannot be completed without access to suitable equipment for measuring CH4 emissions at grazing. This review documents the current knowledge capacity in Ireland (publications and projects) and includes an inventory of equipment currently available to conduct research. A number of strategic research avenues are identified herein that warrant further investigation including breeding initiatives and dietary manipulation. It was notable that enteric CH4 research seems to be lacking in Ireland as it constituted 14% of Irish agricultural GHG research publications from 2016 to 2021. A number of key infrastructural deficits were identified including respiration chambers (there are none currently operational in the Republic of Ireland) and an urgent need for more pasture-based GreenFeed™ systems. These deficits will need to be addressed to enable inventory refinement, research progression and the development of effective solutions to enteric CH4 abatement in Ireland.
FunderDepartment of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
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