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|Title: ||Jointly achieving profitability and environmental outcomes: methane abatement from genetic improvement in the Australian beef industry|
|Authors: ||Alford, Andrew R.|
Cacho, Oscar J.
Griffith, Garry R.
Hegarty, Roger S.
|Keywords: ||residual feed intake|
|Issue Date: ||2006-02|
|Abstract: ||Selection of cattle with greater feed efficiency is known to be profitable. Savings in southern Australian
beef production systems of $6.55 per breeding cow per year have been estimated for selection for lower
residual feed intake (RFI), and an additional saving of $4.34 per breeding cow per year may be achieved
in feedlots. Greater feed efficiency is also expected to reduce methane emissions. A gene flow model
was developed to simulate the spread of improved RFI genes through both a single herd in southern
Australia and in the national herd, from 2002 to 2026. Based on the estimated gene flow, voluntary feed
intakes were revised annually, and changes in subsequent methane emissions were calculated for both
the individual and national herd. The annual methane emissions in year 25 of selection were 15.9% less
than in year one for an adopting herd. For the national herd, given differential lags in and limits to
adoption for Northern and Southern Australia, the cumulative reduction in national emissions was 568.1
Gg of methane over 25 years (11.93 Mt CO2 equivalents), with annual emissions in year 25 being 3.1%
lower than in year 1. It is concluded that selection for reduced RFI will lead to substantial and lasting
methane abatement while also providing savings in feed-related costs for Australian beef producers,
largely as a consequence of its implementation as a breeding objective for the beef herd.|
|Institution/Association: ||Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society>2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, Sydney, Australia|
|Total Pages: ||14|
|Collections:|| 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia|
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