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Sheep that emit lower amount of methane I John McEwan

Launching in 2008, New Zealand scientists have been working with thousands of sheep in respiration chambers to select animals with greenhouse gas lower emissions.

As our Change Maker this week, Agresearch’s senior scientist John McEwan explains to Sarah:

  • The big win is that by selecting for lower emitting sheep, production traits or fertility traits haven’t been affected.

  • For farmers to calculate ram’s with low methane in their overall farm environment plan there is still work to do with the Climate Change Commission.

“Methane and feed intake is heritable, so what we want is a highly productive animal, while maintaining or reducing the amount of methane being emitted,” explains John.

To learn more about the research programme, visit: https://www.agresearch.co.nz/news/breeding-sheep-for-lower-emissions/


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