What are the best uses of cotton and canola by-products for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions?

Whole farm systems analysis from the WFSAM project

Researchers compared options for utilising the by-products of cotton (whole cotton seed) and canola (canola oil) production in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The alternative uses for the by-products were: 

Feeding canola oil (as canola meal) to cattle was estimated to result in a net increase in GHG. However, there was an overall reduction in GHG from the combination of converting canola oil into biodiesel and feeding the canola meal to cattle.

The net reductions in GHG emissions from converting cottonseed oil into biodiesel were generally greater than the reductions in emissions from feeding the oil as a supplement to cattle. However, the distances that the oil feeds fed to cattle, or that the biodiesel were required transporting to end use was a major determinant of whether there was a net reduction in GHG, with the breakeven estimated at 381 km.

Primary researchers


Ludemann CI, Howden SM, Eckard RJ (2016). What is the best use of oil from cotton (Gossypium spp.) and canola (Brassica spp.) for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions: biodiesel, or as a feed for cattle? Animal Production Science, 56, 442–450, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN15453.

More information

Research Theme


Project Status


Project Leadership

Dr Christie Ho
  • Dr Christie Ho
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Agriculture Victoria

Richard Eckard
  • Professor Richard Eckard
  • Director
  • Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre

Richard Rawnsley
  • Dr Richard Rawnsley
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

Fact Sheet

Project Team

  • Dr Brendan Cullen
    University of Melbourne
  • Dr Matthew Harrison
    Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • Dr Alexandria Sinnett
    Agriculture Victoria
  • Karen Christie
    Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • Natalie Doran-Browne
    University of Melbourne

Funding Organisations

  • Agriculture Victoria
  • Australian Wool Innovation Limited
  • Dairy Australia
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • Meat and Livestock Australia
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • University of Melbourne

Collaborating Organisations

  • Agriculture Victoria
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture