Feed Efficiency and Gas Emissions

Dr. Pekka Huhtanen is using two free-stall GreenFeed units to monitor CH4 and CO2 emissions from about 60 lactating cows per day (Swedish Red and Swedish Red and White dairy cattle) in a production free-stall dairy facility near the Swedish University of Animal Sciences at Umea, Sweden.

The department is involved in a large European Union funded research project called “Ruminomics”.  The aim of the project is “connecting the animal genome, gastrointestinal micro-biomes and nutrition to improved digestion efficiency and the environmental impacts of ruminant livestock production.

In addition to CH4 and CO2 production, Dr. Huhtanen is continuously monitoring individual animal feed intake using a separate Insentec system.  Dr. Huhtanen’s research focuses on nitrogen utilization in dairy cows as well as the development of observation linked models to predict animal metabolism and efficiency.

Dr. Huhtanen’s GreenFeed units have been in continuous use in a harsh dairy environment since early 2012, logging over 100,000 individual animal visits.  The units are located at opposite ends of the free-stall barn near water troughs.  A computer system links the two unit together so that any animal may use either feeder to receive total daily allocation of pellets. The barn is equipped with an automatic hopper filling system, therefor reducing routine GreenFeed maintenance to once per week for air-filter service and CH4 and CO2 calibration.

Publications

Huhtanen, P, E. H. Cabezas-Garcia, S. Utsumi, and S. Zimmerman. 2015. Comparison of methods to determine methane emissions from dairy cows in farm conditions. J. Dairy Sci. (accepted)

Huhtanen. P, E.H. Cabezas Garcia, S. Zimmerman, P. Zimmerman. 2014 Comparison of active flux and passive concentration measurement of methane emissions from cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 97 (E-Suppl): 275. View Here

Huhtanen, P., S. J. Krizsan, M. Hetta, H. Gidlund, and E. H. Cabezas Garcia. 2013. Repeatability and between cow variability of enteric CH4 and total CO2 emissions. Adv. Anim. Biosci. 4:588. View Here