The National Livestock Methane Program (NLMP) is a nationally recognised collaborative research program, coordinated by Meat & Livestock Australia. It consists of 16 projects aimed at developing practical on-farm options to help producers reduce methane emissions from livestock while improving productivity and profitability.
The NLMP builds on previous research initiatives aimed at reducing methane from livestock, including the Australian Government’s Reducing Emissions from Livestock Research Program (RELRP), which ran from 2009 to 2012.
Key outcomes from these on-farm research programs include:
- Breeding: Identifying ‘high’ and ‘low’ methane emitting cattle, and developing tools that allow producers to select bulls whose progeny will produce less methane but still be profitable in their production system.
- Supplementation: Evaluating the impact of pasture types and supplements on methane emissions, and identifying feed additives such as algae, grape marc and nitrates that reduce energy waste in the stomach (rumen) of livestock.
- Rumen strategies: Developing a device to measure methane and other gases in the rumen, and better understanding rumen biology to lower methane and improve feed utilisation
- Forages: Identifying best shrub and inter-row species for reducing emissions; use of leucaena plantations in northern Australian cattle production systems to reduce methane emissions.