Full Recording available from webinar on Managing Methane Emissions in Livestock Farming

On April 12, FEFAC hosted a webinar on managing methane emissions in livestock farming. The online event was the third of the FEFAC Charter 2030 Webinar Series. The event was supported by the European Dairy Association (EDA) and the European Livestock and Meat Traders & Processors Union (UECBV) to learn more about current animal nutrition strategies to help reduce methane emissions and what it takes to make them fully operational and accessible for all livestock farmers. 

The webinar was opened and closed by Asger Christensen, EP rapporteur for the EU Commission methane reduction strategy. He stressed that a number of solutions exist to reduce the environmental impact of the livestock sector, in particular, that methane emissions and we cannot accept that reduction of the number of animals is the way forward. He emphasized in this sense the importance for livestock farmers to get access to finances to support investments towards more sustainable farming conditions.

Dr André Bannink, Wageningen University, set the scene and presented the state of the art in terms of animal nutrition solutions, including feed additives, to mitigate methane emissions and methodologies to modelled methane emissions from enteric fermentation taking into account different parameters such as feed intake, feed composition (fat, starch, fibre) and milk yield (in the case of dairy cows). You can view the presentation here.

The 1st feed expert panel debate addressed the importance of feed efficiency as a key driver in reducing methane emission and other GHG emissions, stressing the need to create economic returns to livestock farmers in order to provide financial incentives for the adoption of better feed practices at farm level. Practical examples were presented underlining the feed industry commitment to contribute significantly to national methane reduction targets (e.g. convention with public authorities in the case of Belgium) by using defined animal nutrition mitigation options. The role of innovative feed additives in all ruminant production systems (extensive or intensive) was highlighted as a powerful tool to reduce enteric fermentation. 

The 2nd expert debate also covered important agro-ecological services provided by ruminant animals, for the maintenance of marginal grasslands, which make up 30% of the agricultural surface in the EU and its carbon sequestration potential. Copa-Cogeca emphasized that methane emitted by the livestock sector is a circular GHG and can be used as a renewable energy resource through improved manure management, stressing the need for society to reward farmers for their investment and efforts to apply farm management measures and feeding practices which help reduce environmental impacts while generating climate positive results. 

You can view the full recording of the webinar here