A Southland research station in New Zealand is looking at ways to breed sheep that produce less methane gas after a previous government said it would tax animal emissions.
Woodlands Research Station started using a new portable chamber this year to measure the methane levels of sheep. Station manager Kevin Knowler said the aim of the research was to find out if it was possible to breed sheep that produced less methane gas. As well as future-proofing the industry against a possible tax on emissions, the information could be used to find out if there was a correlation between emissions and sheep productivity, Knowler said.
The ability to select genetics for low-emitters that were also more efficient and productive animals would benefit farmers, he said.
Since the station received the chamber in January, 900 sires' methane levels had been tested.
While the technology had been used in Australia for some time, the New Zealand chamber was different in that it was portable and could be used on farms.
Reprinted in part from Stuff, NZ