Research to focus on delivery of methane-inhibiting supplements to paddock cattle


Jon Condon, Beef Central (AU)



WHILE delivering methane-inhibiting supplements to feedlot cattle is relatively straightforward, given the controlled feeding environment, the beef industry has already identified that dosing such supplements to paddock cattle in extensive grazing conditions presents greater challenges.


A new research project in Central Queensland is examining methane-reducing compounds and how they can be effectively distributed to grazing cattle using water medication systems.


Central Queensland University’s Dr Diogo Costa recently received a $240,000 grant to evaluate dietary supplements that reduce methane emissions, using technology to efficiently add these compounds into livestock water supply. New funding for the project came from the 2021 Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship awards announced last week.


Dr Costa, a senior research officer with Central Queensland University’s Precision Livestock Management team, is working with agtech company Direct Injection Technologies, which manufactures water medication systems that can be monitored and controlled remotely, in the trials.


Rockhampton-based Dr Costa said one of the massive challenges of supplementing grazing cattle in Australia was the sheer size of many properties.


“I come from Brazil where the conditions allow much higher stocking rates and closer management of cattle, through lower labour costs,” he said.


“Here, if it was not for technologies like that being used in this trial, it would not be physically possible to delivery supplements in many cases.”


Methane emissions from livestock accounted for about 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia’s agricultural sector and 11pc of total national GHG emissions.


Using technology to deliver practical solutions for producers and industry to major challenges like emissions reduction is one of the primary focuses for CQ University’s Precision Livestock Management team.


Dr Costa’s intention is...