The pilot trial, by CRV and LIC with funding from the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, measured feed intake and methane emissions – in the form of burps – from 20 young bulls destined to father the next generation of New Zealand’s dairy cows. Phil Beatson, R&D Manager at CRV, says the programme aligns well with CRV’s aim to breed bulls that meet the future requirements of dairy farmers. “Over the past years environmental issues have become increasingly important to New Zealand agriculture and the significance of this programme is reflected by the collaboration between the two main AI companies with support from MPI, AgResearch and NZAGRC.”
Harry Clark, director of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, is delighted with the outcomes of the pilot trial. “We have been highly successful in New Zealand in breeding low-emitting sheep and this preliminary work with the bulls is a positive sign that we should be able to achieve the same for the dairy sector,” he said.