Methane

Wendy10

Member
Location
Carmarthenshire
So, following on from the item on Country file, ye I know but, according to the Scientist, cows produce so much more methane than humans because they have to digest all the vegetation in their diet.
Does this mean when we all become vegans we will destroy the planet as we produce more methane? Does anyone know if there has been any research on this?
 

roscoe erf

Member
Livestock Farmer
So, following on from the item on Country file, ye I know but, according to the Scientist, cows produce so much more methane than humans because they have to digest all the vegetation in their diet.
Does this mean when we all become vegans we will destroy the planet as we produce more methane? Does anyone know if there has been any research on this?
I think its just a lot of hot air :LOL:
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
So, following on from the item on Country file, ye I know but, according to the Scientist, cows produce so much more methane than humans because they have to digest all the vegetation in their diet.
Does this mean when we all become vegans we will destroy the planet as we produce more methane? Does anyone know if there has been any research on this?

Watching this and a couple of synapses started sparking in the brain... Not usually a positive sign but there you go!

I seem to recall being told by a rep decades ago, that Monensin (sp?) the active ingredient of Romensin worked by suppressing or containing methane production in bovine ruminants?
 

Sussex Martin

Member
Location
Burham Kent
So, following on from the item on Country file, ye I know but, according to the Scientist, cows produce so much more methane than humans because they have to digest all the vegetation in their diet.
Does this mean when we all become vegans we will destroy the planet as we produce more methane? Does anyone know if there has been any research on this?
You’ll maybe have to change your name to Windy :LOL::LOL::LOL:
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Watching this and a couple of synapses started sparking in the brain... Not usually a positive sign but there you go!

I seem to recall being told by a rep decades ago, that Monensin (sp?) the active ingredient of Romensin worked by suppressing or containing methane production in bovine ruminants?

Pretty sure you are correct. More concentrates and Romensin cut methane emissions and increased food conversion efficiency drastically if I remember correctly. So its not an insurmountable problem at all.
 

Pilgrimmick

Member
Location
Argyll
Did they say 4500 ltrs a day per cow?

100 cows in a sealed shed, extract the 450,000ltrs of methane. Use it to power the forced air recirculation system, the house and half the village!
 

Chips

Member
Location
Shropshire
Methane Ch4 breaks down in our atmosphere into Co2 which is then sequestrated by grass . Methane is no more a problem than Co2 other than it has 25 times more warming potential than Co2 but the output is far less than Co2 , look at this info gram from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research , even if you time the CH4 which is 0.2 by 25 you get 5 , then add that to the rest and the grass is still removing more Co2 than the cow .
NIWA Carbon Cycle.jpg


Methane levels have been higher in the past and ruminants that produce methane existed in greater numbers pre industrial revolution than they do today . The main issue with carbon is that it is either in our soil and plants or our atmosphere and so we need to get as much of it back into our soils as possible to offset climate change , and this is where the vegan argument falls flat because grassland stores 2-3 times as much carbon in it's soils than cropland and vegans can't eat grass , in fact VEGAN stands for the Virtues' Elimination of Grassland ,Animals and Nature !!!
Look at these figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showing the different soil carbon storage between different biomas
IGPCC SOC.png

Now Temperate grasslands may not apply to here but are sure important in areas where a lot of dairy alternative crops may be grown but we also get similar results back home , I sat in the NFU's Dairy Enviromental Issues Group meeting where we had some excellent presentations from Davinish, ADAS and Defra on soil carbon sequestration , I have tried to upload a slide from ADAS showing that here in the UK grassland contains more SOC than cropland and in drier areas where cropland tends to be again it's up to 3 times as much !
The trouble is carbon footprints are done on a simple gross output of carbon which favours the vegan argument where as the truth always is net after sequestration , for example if you did a traditional carbon footprint Audit of a tree you would cut it down as it emits huge amounts of Co2 , however we except at other times of the day it sequestrates far more , well the same is true of grass based dairy !
The other interesting thing that Davinish was able to demonstrate was that abandoned grassland contains less SOC than farmed grassland . I think a big reason for this was that PH has a big effect on SOC and farmers apply lime .
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
How does atmospheric methane turn into CO2?
Oxidation.
As I understand it that is the only way the methane reverts back to co2 and h2o, but there are several ways it can oxidise, one being Methanotrophs in the soil, another being in contact with more reactive atmospheric gasses such as Ozone.

Could well be wrong but that is my laymans understanding of it.
 

Frankzy

Member
Location
Jamtland, Sweden
Oxidation.
As I understand it that is the only way the methane reverts back to co2 and h2o, but there are several ways it can oxidise, one being Methanotrophs in the soil, another being in contact with more reactive atmospheric gasses such as Ozone.

Could well be wrong but that is my laymans understanding of it.

Those are the only two ways yes. (3 if you count burning it as seperate, though it's really just a fast version of oxidisation)

The atmospheric oxidisation is however a somewhat slow process, on average it sticks around for about 8-10 years. Over a 20 year period methane traps i think around 100 times more heat than CO2.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Those are the only two ways yes. (3 if you count burning it as seperate, though it's really just a fast version of oxidisation)

The atmospheric oxidisation is however a somewhat slow process, on average it sticks around for about 8-10 years. Over a 20 year period methane traps i think around 100 times more heat than CO2.
My bio teacher would have been proud ;) think I have stored that away for 20 years and not once been asked, nor really thought much about it's breakdown (n)

Here am I encouraging farmers to use critical thinking, about how they are harvesting carbon, water and solar energy for profit :bag::bag:
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Watching this and a couple of synapses started sparking in the brain... Not usually a positive sign but there you go!

I seem to recall being told by a rep decades ago, that Monensin (sp?) the active ingredient of Romensin worked by suppressing or containing methane production in bovine ruminants?
Yep (y) kelp has also been demonstrated to greatly reduce methane output when administered to ruminants.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Methane Ch4 breaks down in our atmosphere into Co2 which is then sequestrated by grass . Methane is no more a problem than Co2 other than it has 25 times more warming potential than Co2 but the output is far less than Co2 , look at this info gram from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research , even if you time the CH4 which is 0.2 by 25 you get 5 , then add that to the rest and the grass is still removing more Co2 than the cow .View attachment 644924

Methane levels have been higher in the past and ruminants that produce methane existed in greater numbers pre industrial revolution than they do today . The main issue with carbon is that it is either in our soil and plants or our atmosphere and so we need to get as much of it back into our soils as possible to offset climate change , and this is where the vegan argument falls flat because grassland stores 2-3 times as much carbon in it's soils than cropland and vegans can't eat grass , in fact VEGAN stands for the Virtues' Elimination of Grassland ,Animals and Nature !!!
Look at these figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showing the different soil carbon storage between different biomas
View attachment 644928
Now Temperate grasslands may not apply to here but are sure important in areas where a lot of dairy alternative crops may be grown but we also get similar results back home , I sat in the NFU's Dairy Enviromental Issues Group meeting where we had some excellent presentations from Davinish, ADAS and Defra on soil carbon sequestration , I have tried to upload a slide from ADAS showing that here in the UK grassland contains more SOC than cropland and in drier areas where cropland tends to be again it's up to 3 times as much !
The trouble is carbon footprints are done on a simple gross output of carbon which favours the vegan argument where as the truth always is net after sequestration , for example if you did a traditional carbon footprint Audit of a tree you would cut it down as it emits huge amounts of Co2 , however we except at other times of the day it sequestrates far more , well the same is true of grass based dairy !
The other interesting thing that Davinish was able to demonstrate was that abandoned grassland contains less SOC than farmed grassland . I think a big reason for this was that PH has a big effect on SOC and farmers apply lime .
Thankyou @Chips
 

Chips

Member
Location
Shropshire
Author: Dr. Christine Jones

Wetlands, rivers, oceans, lakes, plants, decaying vegetation (especially in moist environments such as rain forests) – and a wide variety of creatures great and small – from termites to whales, have been producing methane for millions of years. The rumen, for example, evolved as an efficient way of digesting plant material around 90 million years ago.

Ruminants including buffalo, goats, wild sheep, camels, giraffes, reindeer, caribou, antelopes and bison existed in greater numbers prior to the Industrial Revolution than are present today. There would have been an overwhelming accumulation of methane in the atmosphere had not sources and sinks been able to cancel each other over past millennia.

Although most methane is inactivated by the hydroxyl (OH) free radical in the atmosphere,another source of inactivation is oxidization in biologically active soils. Aerobic soils are net sinks for methane, due to the presence of methanotrophic bacteria, which utilize methane as their sole energy source. Methanotrophs have the opposite function to methanogens, which bind free hydrogen atoms to carbon to reduce acidosis in the rumen. Recent research has found that biologically active soils can oxidize the methane emitted by cattle carried at low stocking rates. The highest methane oxidation rate recorded in soil to date has been 13.7mg/m2/day which, over one hectare, equates to the absorption of the methane produced by approximately one livestock unit (LSU).

In Australia, it has been widely promoted that livestock are a significant contributor to atmospheric methane and that global methane levels are rising. There is no evidence, however, to suggest that methane emissions from ruminant sources are increasing. Indeed, it would seem there has been no clear trend to changes in global methane levels, from any source, over recent decades.
 

Campani

Member
ruminants existed in greater numbers prior to the Industrial Revolution than are present today

This cant be true. If this is the case then all the developments in agriculture, such as breeding, fertilisers, grass leys, sheds, antibiotics, protein crops etc. All combined means we have less animals than when we started??? Surely not.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

Farm-safety-640x360.png
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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