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Volume 52, issue 6
Arch. Anim. Breed., 52, 587–592, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-52-587-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Arch. Anim. Breed., 52, 587–592, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-52-587-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  10 Oct 2009

10 Oct 2009

Quantitative results for methane production of cattle in Germany

W. Jentsch, B. Piatkowski, M. Schweigel, and M. Derno W. Jentsch et al.
  • Research Unit Nutritional Physiology »Oskar Kellner«, Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals, Dummerstorf, Germany

Abstract. An extensive number of investigations on the energetic utilization efficiency of nutrients and feedstuffs by cattle were carried out in the former Oskar-Kellner-Institute (now the »Oskar Kellner« Research Unit of Nutritional Physiology at the Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals (FBN), Dummerstorf). The amounts of methane (CH4) that they produced were compiled and stratified with regard to various performances, dietary nutrient composition and nutrition levels. With increasing food intake and performance, an increase of CH4 emission per animal was observed. However, with increasing performance, a strong decrease of CH4 production per unit of product was determined. Altogether, the 12.74 million cattle in Germany produce 1.04 million tons of CH4 per year. This represents 1.25 % of the CH4 production of the 1.3 thousand million (UK)/billion (US) cattle in the world or 0.22 % of the total emission on the earth. As a greenhouse gas, CH4 from cattle worldwide and from cattle in Germany account for 3.5 % and 0.04 % of global warming, respectively. In addition, opportunities for a further reduction of enteric CH4 release are discussed.

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