Beef field day for insight into feed efficiency, methane reduction

Published 24 August 2012

A field day near Kingstown, west of Armidale, will provide beef producers with insights into the latest research on feed efficiency and the use of dietary nitrate to reduce methane emissions.

The field day – “Improving efficiency and reducing emissions from beef production” – is being organised by the New England Branch of the Australian Society of Animal Production and will be at the University of New England’s “Tullimba” feedlot on Tuesday 28 August.

Roger Hegarty, Professor of Animal Nutrition at UNE, said that visitors to the field day would be able to see – and hear about – new developments in the measurement of feed intake by animals in the paddock. “In our global agricultural environment in which there is a need for increased production from the same levels of feed input, these developments are enabling a whole new generation of feed efficiency research that is shared across our local research teams,” Professor Hegarty said.

The presenters at the field day will include representatives of UNE, the NSW Department of Primary Industries, CSIRO, and Cargill Animal Nutrition.

The program, beginning at 2 pm, will include a demonstration of the GrowSafe feed intake recorders, and talks on other initiatives in estimating pasture feed intake, and on aspects of methane emission reduction.

“Dietary nitrate is known to reduce methane emissions,” said Professor Hegarty, who is a leading researcher on this subject. “While there are health risks when nitrate is consumed in an uncontrolled manner, in controlled feeding it can be safe and effective.”

The program will also include a talk on the genetics of methane production in beef cattle.

A free bus will leave UNE for “Tullimba” at 1.30 pm, and return to UNE at 4.45 pm. And the event itself – which will include afternoon tea – is free of charge.

For more information, or to notify the organisers of plans to attend the field day, contact Hutton Oddy on (02) 6770 1806 or e-mail