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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by feeding dietary additives to milking cows

26 August 2016

This method applies to projects that reduce methane generated from manure by feeding eligible additives to milking cows.

Eligible additives include canola meal, cold-pressed canola meal, brewer's grain, hominy meal or dried distiller's grain, and are used to increase the fat content of a milking cow's diet.

Increasing the fat content of a milking cow's diet reduces methane (CH4) emissions produced as a result of enteric fermentation. Enteric fermentation is a digestive process in ruminant animals such as cows, where feed is broken down by microorganisms into simple molecules, making them available for easy digestion by the animal.

Improving feed quality for milking cows in this way means the animals can use energy from the feed more efficiently while enabling faster feed passage through the rumen. This reduces the amount of methane released, avoiding emissions into the atmosphere.

The project must:

  • only occur on dairy farms, including organic dairy farms, where milking cows are pasture grazed for at least nine months of the year, and
  • maintain dietary fats and oils below seven percent of the total dry matter feed.

The reducing greenhouse gas emissions by feeding dietary additives to milking cows method was varied in June 2015. The method must be read together with the methodology determination variation, which provides details on the changes.

Method variations

Section 114 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Ini​tiative) Act 2011 (the Act)​ ​allows for methods to be revised and varied. This is to ensure methods continue to operate as originally intended. Variations to methods are developed and drafted by the Department of the Environment and Energy. Information on draft methods and method variations is available on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.

The Clean Energy Regulator recommends making yourself familiar with proposed method variations relevant to your project should they arise, and how any changes between the original method and the varied method may affect your project plan.

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