Quantification of methane emissions from cattle farms, using the tracer gas dispersion method
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2022

In Denmark, agriculture is the largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions (81%), mainly from cattle (dairy and beef) farms. Whole-farm methane emissions were quantified at nine Danish cattle farms, using the tracer gas dispersion method. Five to six measurement campaigns were carried out at each farm, covering a full year. Of the nine cattle farms, seven were home to dairy cows and two to beef cattle. The farms represented typical breeds, housing and management systems used in Denmark. Whole-farm methane emission rates ranged from 0.7 to 28 kg h−1, with the highest measurements seen at locations with the highest number of animals. Emissions tended to be higher from August to October, due to elevated temperatures and high amounts of stored manure during this period of the year. The average emission factor (EF) for dairy cow farms was 26 ± 8.5 g Livestock Unit (LU)−1 h−1, whereas it was 16 ± 4.1 LU−1 h−1 for beef cattle farms, i.e. 38% lower for the latter. The use of deep litter house management explained some of the differences found in the EFs for dairy cows. Methane emission rates estimated using IPCC models and national guidelines tended, on average for all farms and measurements, to be underestimated by 35% in comparison with the measured methane emissions, for all models and farms. The results suggest that future improvements to inventory models should focus on enteric methane emissions from beef cattle and manure methane emissions for both dairy cows and beef cattle, especially from deep litter management.

Dairy cows

GHG inventory models

Beef cattle

Manure management

Enteric fermentation


Natalia Dos Reis Vechi

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Geovetenskap och fjärranalys

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Johan Mellqvist

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Geovetenskap och fjärranalys

C. Scheutz

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

0167-8809 (ISSN)

Vol. 330 107885







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