GrASTech

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Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) Technologies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Intensity of Pasture-based Cattle Systems

European cattle farmers are facing increased demand for pasture-based and environmentally friendly products. Although feeding strategies to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions have been studied intensively, strategies for grazing systems are under-researched. The lack of easy-to-implement technologies for methane measurement with grazing cattle complicates the necessary large-scale studies. GrASTech will develop an animal-mounted sensor platform for methane measurement in grazing cattle and validate using established techniques (Respiration chambers, LaserGun and Greenfeed). Additionally, herd productivity, which has a major impact on GHG emission intensity (per kg product), will be improved using a wide range of precision livestock farming technologies. All strategies will be evaluated using life cycle assessment in order to find net positive effects. GrASTech will provide important advances towards achieving the challenging goals of the climate action plan.

Coordinator
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, ILVO, Belgium
Leen Vandaele

Project partners
Institut de l'elevage, IDELE, France
French National Institute for Agricultural Research and the Environment, INRAE, France
Dairy Research Centre, SRUC, United Kingdom
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Strath, United Kingdom

Total requested funding
974,000 €

Start-end date
01.01.2020-31.12.2022

Project duration
36 months


NEWS from GrASTech


2020.05.18

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In December 2019 GrASTech partners started exploring to what extent precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies can be used to map methane emissions of grazing cows and reduce those emissions by management interventions.
University of Strathclyde is developing a non-intrusive methane concentration measurement system for grazing ruminants. SRUC is reviewing literature to assess how PLF technologies impact technical efficiency/productivity of housed animals and how this can be translated to grazing animals. Implications on methane outputs of these PLF technologies are being investigated and modelled. ILVO is preparing its first grazing experiment in which enteric methane emission related to three feeding/grazing strategies will be compared. At INRAE, unfortunately, the grazing experiment had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, all methodologies and protocols are in place to be picked up next spring. At IDELE, a laser methane detector is being validated to ensure accurate measurements in grazing situations later on.