Modelling the potential of birdsfoot trefoil to reduce methane emissions and increase production

Modelling the potential of birdsfoot trefoil to reduce methane emissions and increase production

Whole farm systems analysis from the WFSAM project

Researchers modelled the potential emission, production and economic outcomes for wool and lamb enterprises incorporating birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)  – a legume containing condensed tannins that inhibit the formation of methane in the rumen – into their pastures.

The modelling showed that although birdsfoot trefoil reduced methane emissions and increased stock productivity through increased wool growth, liveweight gain and fecundity, in most wool enterprise scenarios the extra income did not cover the cost of pasture establishment. There was potential for extra profit in prime lamb enterprises but problems with persistence first need to be overcome.

Primary researchers

  • Natalie Doran-Browne, University of Melbourne
  • Richard Eckard, PICCC

Publications

Browne N, Behrendt R, Kingwell R, Eckard R (2013). Modelling the potential of birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) to reduce methane emissions and increase production on wool and prime lamb farm enterprises. Animal Production Science, 55, 1097-1105, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN13543.

More information