Sheep greenhouse gas emission intensities under different management practices, climate zones and enterprise types

Article


Cottle, D. J., Harrison, M. T. and Ghahramani, A.. 2016. "Sheep greenhouse gas emission intensities under different management practices, climate zones and enterprise types." Animal Production Science. 56 (3), pp. 507-518. https://doi.org/10.1071/AN15327
Article Title

Sheep greenhouse gas emission intensities under different
management practices, climate zones and enterprise types

ERA Journal ID5178
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCottle, D. J. (Author), Harrison, M. T. (Author) and Ghahramani, A. (Author)
Journal TitleAnimal Production Science
Journal Citation56 (3), pp. 507-518
Number of Pages12
Year2016
PublisherCSIRO Publishing
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN0816-1089
1836-0939
1836-5787
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1071/AN15327
Web Address (URL)http://www.publish.csiro.au/AN/fulltext/AN15327
Abstract

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from broadacre sheep farms constitute ~16% of Australia’s total livestock
emissions. To study the diversity of Australian sheep farming enterprises a combination of modelling packages was used
to calculate GHG emissions from three sheep enterprises (Merino ewe production for wool and meat, Merino-cross ewes
with an emphasis on lamb production, and Merino wethers for fine wool production) at 28 sites across eight climate zones
in southern Australia. GHG emissions per ha, per dry sheep equivalents and emissions intensity (EI) per tonne of clean
wool or liveweight sold under different pasture management or animal breeding options (that had been previously
determined in interviews with farmers) were assessed relative to baseline farms in each zone (‘Nil’ option). Increasing
soil phosphorus fertility or sowing 40% of the farm area to lucerne resulted in the smallest and largest changes in GHG/
dry sheep equivalents, respectively (–66%, 113%), though both of these options had little influence on EI for either clean
wool or liveweight sold. Breeding ewes with greater body size or genotypes with higher fleece weight resulted in 11% and
9% reductions, respectively, in EI. Enterprises specialising in lamb production (crossbred ewes) had 89% lower EI than
enterprises specialising in fine wool production (Merino wethers). Thus, sheep producers aiming for lower EI could focus
more on liveweight turnoff than wool production. Emissions intensities were typically highest in cool temperate regions
with high rainfall and lowest in semiarid and arid regions with low aboveground net primary productivity. Overall,
animal breeding options reduced EI more than feedbase interventions.

Keywordsanimal breeding, methane, sheep systems modelling
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300205. Agricultural production systems simulation
300207. Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
300402. Agro-ecosystem function and prediction
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of New England
University of Tasmania
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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Ghahramani, Afshin, Crimp, Steven, Moore, Andrew, Lau, Rex and Hopwood, Garry. 2016. Evaluating transformative adaptation options for Australian extensive farming – a cross-transect analyses of systemic adaptations - July 2016 supplementary report. Canberra, Australia. CSIRO Publishing.
Effect of ground cover on splash and sheetwash erosion over a steep forested hillslope: a plot-scale study
Ghahramani, Afshin, Ishikawa, Yoshiharu, Gomi, Takashi, Shiraki, Katsushige and Miyata, Shusuke. 2011. "Effect of ground cover on splash and sheetwash erosion over a steep forested hillslope: a plot-scale study." Catena. 85 (1), pp. 34-47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2010.11.005
Downslope soil detachment–transport on steep slopes via rain splash
Ghahramani, Afshin, Ishikawa, Yoshiharu, Gomi, Takashi and Miyata, Shusuke. 2011. "Downslope soil detachment–transport on steep slopes via rain splash." Hydrological Processes. 25 (15), pp. 2471-2480. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.8086
Climate change and broadacre livestock production across southern Australia. 1. Impacts of climate change on pasture and livestock productivity, and on sustainable levels of profitability
Moore, Andrew and Ghahramani, Afshin. 2013. "Climate change and broadacre livestock production across southern Australia. 1. Impacts of climate change on pasture and livestock productivity, and on sustainable levels of profitability." Global Change Biology. 19 (5), pp. 1440-1455. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12150
Water flux and sediment transport within a forested landscape: the role of connectivity, subsurface flow, and slope length scale on transport mechanism
Ghahramani, Afshin and Ishikawa, Yoshiharu. 2013. "Water flux and sediment transport within a forested landscape: the role of connectivity, subsurface flow, and slope length scale on transport mechanism." Hydrological Processes. 27 (26), pp. 4091-4102. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.9791
Climate change impact and adaptation in temperate grassland and livestock industries
Ghahramani, Afshin and Moore, Andrew D.. 2015. "Climate change impact and adaptation in temperate grassland and livestock industries." 23rd International Grassland Congress: sustainable use of grassland resources for forage production, biodiversity and environmental protection (IGC 2015). New Delhi, India 20 - 24 Nov 2015 Jhansi, India.
Climate change and broadacre livestock production across southern Australia. 2. Adaptation options via grassland management
Ghahramani, Afshin and Moore, Andrew D.. 2013. "Climate change and broadacre livestock production across southern Australia. 2. Adaptation options via grassland management." Crop and Pasture Science. 64 (6), pp. 615-630. https://doi.org/10.1071/CP13195
Systemic adaptations to climate change in southern Australian grasslands and livestock: production, profitability, methane emission and ecosystem function
Ghahramani, Afshin and Moore, Andrew D.. 2015. "Systemic adaptations to climate change in southern Australian grasslands and livestock: production, profitability, methane emission and ecosystem function." Agricultural Systems. 133, pp. 158-166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2014.11.003
The value of adapting to climate change in Australian wheat farm systems: farm to cross-regional scale
Ghahramani, Afshin, Kokic, Philip N., Moore, Andrew D., Zheng, Bangyou, Chapman, Scott C., Howden, Mark S. and Crimp, Steven J.. 2015. "The value of adapting to climate change in Australian wheat farm systems: farm to cross-regional scale." Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 211, pp. 112-125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2015.05.011
Impact of climate changes on existing crop-livestock farming systems
Ghahramani, Afshin and Moore, Andrew D.. 2016. "Impact of climate changes on existing crop-livestock farming systems." Agricultural Systems. 146, pp. 142-155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2016.05.011
Modelling the resilience of forage crop production to future climate change in the dairy regions of southeastern Australia using APSIM
Pembleton, K. G., Cullen, B. R., Rawnsley, R. P., Harrison, M. T. and Ramilan, T.. 2016. "Modelling the resilience of forage crop production to future climate change in the dairy regions of southeastern Australia using APSIM." The Journal of Agricultural Science. 154 (7), pp. 1131-1152. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021859615001185
Impact of grazing on the silage yield of forage oat crops
Pembleton, Keith G., Harrison, Matthew T. and Rawnsley, Richard P.. 2013. "Impact of grazing on the silage yield of forage oat crops." 22nd International Grassland Congress: Revitalising Grasslands to Sustain Our Communities. Sydney, Australia 15 - 19 Sep 2013 Australia.
Early sowing and irrigating of rape crops in cool temperate environments boosts forage yield potential
Harrison, Matthew T., Pembleton, Keith G. and Rawnsley, Richard P.. 2013. "Early sowing and irrigating of rape crops in cool temperate environments boosts forage yield potential." 22nd International Grassland Congress: Revitalising Grasslands to Sustain Our Communities. Sydney, Australia 15 - 19 Sep 2013 Australia.