Modified approach to estimating daily methane emissions of dairy cows by measuring filtered eructations during milking

Matt J Bell, Phil Garnsworthy, Dimitris Mallis, Richard Eckard, Peter Moate, Tianhai Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to compare metrics for quantifying enteric methane (C[H.sub.4]) emissions from individual cows during milking using frequent spot measurements and peak analysis methods. An infrared gas analyser was used to measure the C[H.sub.4] emitted by cows, and eructation peaks were identified using a Signal Processing Toolbox provided by Matlab. C[H.sub.4] emissions were quantified by gas peak height, peak amplitude and average concentration, and were expressed in grams per day and C[H.sub.4] yield (grams per kilogram of dry matter intake (DMI)). Peak analysis measurements of C[H.sub.4] were obtained from 36 cows during 2,474 milkings, during which cows were fed a ration containing between 39 and 70 % forage. Spot measurements of C[H.sub.4] were compared to a separate dataset of 196 chamber C[H.sub.4] records from another group of 105 cows, which were fed a ration containing between 25 and 80 % forage. The results showed that the metrics of C[H.sub.4] peak height and C[H.sub.4] peak amplitude demonstrated similar positive relationships between daily C[H.sub.4] emissions and DMI (both r = 0.37), and a negative relationship between C[H.sub.4] yield and DMI (r = -0.43 and -0.38 respectively) as observed in the chamber measurements (r = 0.57 for daily emissions and r=-0.40 for C[H.sub.4] yield). The C[H.sub.4] metrics of peak height and peak amplitude were highly repeatable (ranging from 0.76 to 0.81), comparable to the high repeatability of production traits (ranging from 0.63 to 0.99) and were more repeatable than chamber C[H.sub.4] measurements (0.31 for daily emissions and 0.03 for C[H.sub.4] yield). This study recommends quantifying C[H.sub.4] emissions from the maximum amplitude of an eructation. KEYWORDS dairy cow, enteric methane, spot measurement, sampling
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


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