Project news How do you measure the methane emissions of grazing cattle?

grazing cows
Can methane emissions be measured on pasture with precision livestock farming techniques?

To what extent can we use sensors and precision livestock farming techniques to map methane emissions from grazing cows, and then reduce emissions using management interventions? Those are the twin goals of the GRASTECH research project .

Methane emissions at pasture

In the easily controllable (feed and management) conditions of a modern dairy barn, methane emissions are already being mapped and some climate strategies have already been investigated. At pasture, however, the parameters tend to vary. Nevertheless, the researchers want to develop solutions for the climate impact caused by cows there as well. Enteric emissions in Flanders need to be reduced by 19% by 2030 compared to 2005.

Pasture management and precision cattle farming

This project investigates the possibilities of grazing management within the agreements for pasture milk. It focuses on optimal planning of the number of grazing hours and adjusting the ration in the barn with or without the use of methane-reducing feed additives. Another strong focus is on selecting and implementing the existing and recently developed Precision Livestock Farming technologies with the aim of improving production efficiency in these systems.

Project title: GRASTECH
Term: 2019 - 2022
Funding: VLAIO
Partners: INRA, IDELE, University of Strathclyde, SRUC


Contact us

Frank Tuyttens

Animal welfare expert

See also

Press release 26/09/2023

Dairy farm losses from heat waves quantified

Cow against blue sky
Agricultural economists juxtaposed long-term production figures from all Flemish dairy farms with recorded weather events to assess the economic damage caused by heat.