Methane emissions from livestock are responsible for approximately 50% of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with agriculture in Scotland. Reducing the emissions is key to reducing agricultural emissions in Scotland. 

We have looked at this issue from different perspectives:

  1. Review of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions via cattle slurry management
    explores how to reduce the greenhouse gases from storing and use of slurry at Scottish farms

  2. Livestock Health & Greenhouse Gas Emissions– looking at how emissions intensity could be reduced through control measures relating to
    • milk yield and cow fertility rates (dairy systems),
    • cow/ewe fertility and abortion rates, calf/lamb mortality and growth rates (beef and sheep systems), and
    • feed conversion ratios, FCR (all systems)
  3. Benchmarking the emissions intensity of Scottish livestock – making recommendations for benchmarking cattle milk and meat, and sheep meat within the boundary of cradle to farm-gate, in the first instance.

  4. Nutritional strategies to reduce enteric methane emissions –  finding that three of the 12 nutritional strategies evaluated could be effective in reducing enteric methane  emissions. Based on this work, we were asked to explore the practical feasibility of including lipids and nitrates in livestock diets and concluded that this option has limited potential due to the complex connection between feeding regime and emissions.

  5. Farmyard Manure and Slurry Management, and Anaerobic Digestion in Scotland – Practical Application on Farm: this report examines the market potential for anaerobic digestion technologies as a tool to manage slurry and farmyard manure arising from Scottish livestock farming, focusing on how greenhouse gas emissions might be reduced.

  6. Slurry Storage on Scottish Farms -  A Feasibility Study - This work assesses the relative value of different slurry management options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock production.  It examines key sectors where there are significant emissions considers the opportunities for mitigation.