Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Cattle

Open access

Abstract

Cattle produce greenhouse gases (GHG) which lead to changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere. These gases which cause greenhouse effect include: methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3), dust particles and non-methane volatile organic compounds, commonly described as other than methane hydrocarbons. Fermentation processes taking place in the digestive tract produce ‘digestive gases’, distinguished from gases which are emitted during the decomposition of manure. Among these digestive gases methane and non-methane volatile organic compounds are of particular relevance importance. The amount of gases produced by cows can be reduced by choosing to rear animals with an improved genetically based performance. A dairy cow with higher production efficiency, producing milk with higher protein content and at the same time reduced fat content emits less GHG into the environment. Increasing the ratio of feed mixtures in a feed ration also reduces GHG emissions, especially of methane. By selection of dairy cows with higher production efficiency and appropriate nutrition, the farm's expected milk production target can be achieved while at the same time, the size of the herd is reduced, leading to a reduction of GHG emissions.

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Ekológia (Bratislava)

The Journal of Institute of Landscape Ecology of Slovak Academy of Sciences

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CiteScore 2017: 0.52

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