Improving animal nitrogen use efficiency and reducing nitrous oxide emissions on dairy farms

Improving animal nitrogen use efficiency and reducing nitrous oxide emissions on dairy farms

Whole farm systems analysis from the WFSAM project

The study examined two theoretical approaches for improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in dairy cows to reduce associated nitrous oxide emissions for three dairying regions of south-eastern Australia:

  1. Maintaining the same level of N exported in milk from a reduced N intake; 
  2. Increasing the amount of N exported in milk for the same level of dietary N intake.

Treatments covered four supplementary feed N concentrations combined with four milk N concentrations.

The results showed that both options can improve NUE and reduced nitrous oxide emissions, though significantly greater abatement in nitrous oxide emissions can be achieved by improving animal NUE via reductions in the amount of N in supplementary feed, as opposed to increasing N exported in milk.

Primary researcher

  • Karen Christie, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • Richard Eckard, PICCC

Publications

Christie KM, Rawnsley RP, Harrison MT, Eckard RJ (2013). Using a modelling approach to evaluate two options for improving animal nitrogen use efficiency and reducing nitrous oxide emissions on dairy farms in southern Australia. Animal Production Science, 54, 1960-1970, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN14436.

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