Prediction of enteric methane production and yield in dairy cattle using a Latin America and Caribbean database

Guilhermo F.S. Congio*, André Bannink, Olga Lucía Mayorga Mogollón, João P.P. Rodrigues, Adeline Bougouin, Ermias Kebreab, Ricardo R. Silva, Rogério M. Maurício, Sila C. da Silva, Patrícia P.A. Oliveira, Camila Muñoz, Luiz G.R. Pereira, Carlos Gómez, Claudia Ariza-Nieto, Henrique M.N. Ribeiro-Filho, Octavio A. Castelán-Ortega, Jaime R. Rosero-Noguera, Maria P. Tieri, Paulo H.M. Rodrigues, Marcos I. MarcondesLaura Astigarraga, Sergio Abarca, Alexander N. Hristov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Enteric methane (CH4) from ruminants is the major driver of global warming and climate change. Successful mitigation efforts entail accurate estimation of on-farm emission and prediction models can be an alternative to current laborious and costly in vivo CH4 measurement techniques. This study aimed to: (1) collate a database of individual dairy cattle CH4 emission data from studies conducted in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region; (2) identify key variables for predicting CH4 production (g d−1) and yield [g kg−1 of dry matter intake (DMI)]; (3) develop and cross-validate these newly-developed models; and (4) compare models' predictive ability with equations currently used to support national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. A total of 42 studies including 1327 individual dairy cattle records were collated. After removing outliers, the final database retained 34 studies and 610 animal records. Production and yield of CH4 were predicted by fitting mixed-effects models with a random effect of study. Evaluation of developed models and fourteen extant equations was assessed on all-data, confined, and grazing cows subsets. Feed intake was the most important predictor of CH4 production. Our best-developed CH4 production models outperformed Tier 2 equations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the all-data and grazing subsets, whereas they had similar performance for confined animals. Developed CH4 production models that include milk yield can be accurate and useful when feed intake is missing. Some extant equations had similar predictive performance to our best-developed models and can be an option for predicting CH4 production from LAC dairy cows. Extant equations were not accurate in predicting CH4 yield. The use of the newly-developed models rather than extant equations based on energy conversion factors, as applied by the IPCC, can substantially improve the accuracy of GHG inventories in LAC countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153982
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume825
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Diet
  • Empirical modeling
  • Enteric methane
  • GHG inventory
  • Linear models
  • Prediction equations

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