Methane emissions differ between sheep offered a conventional diploid, a high-sugar diploid or a tetraploid perennial ryegrass cultivar at two allowances at three times of the yearA. Jonker A E , G. Molano A , E. Sandoval A , P. S. Taylor B , C. Antwi A C , S. Olinga A D and G. P. Cosgrove B
A Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Grasslands Research Centre, AgResearch Ltd, Tennent Drive, Private Bag 11008, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
B Forage Improvement, Grasslands Research Centre, AgResearch Ltd, Tennent Drive, Private Bag 11008, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
C Department of Animal Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
D Nabuin Zonal, National Agricultural Research Organisation (Nabuin-ZARDI), PB 132 Moroto, Uganda.
E Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN15597
Submitted: 15 September 2015 Accepted: 7 March 2016 Published online: 12 May 2016
Elevated water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) concentration in the diet may affect rumen fermentation and consequently reduce methane (CH4) emissions. The objective of the present study was to determine CH4 emissions from male sheep (8 per treatment) in respiration chambers for 48 h and fed either a conventional diploid (CRG), a high-sugar diploid (HSG) or a tetraploid (TRG) perennial ryegrass cultivar, each offered at 0.7 or 1.0 kg dry matter (DM)/day during periods in early spring 2013 (P1), early autumn 2014 (P2) and late spring 2014 (P3). There was a significant (P < 0.001) interaction between cultivar and period for CH4 yield (g/kg DM intake). In P1 yield was 9% lower (P = 0.007) for sheep fed HSG than for sheep fed CRG or TRG, in P2 yield was 16% lower (P < 0.001) for sheep fed TRG than that for sheep fed CRG or HSG, and in P3 yield was 15% lower (P < 0.001) for sheep fed TRG than that for sheep fed CRG, with HSG-fed sheep being intermediate and not significantly different from either CRG or TRG. Despite there being a cultivar × period interaction, overall, CH4 yield was lower for sheep fed HSG or TRG than for sheep fed CRG (P < 0.001). There were no cultivar × level of feed offer interactions and, overall, yield of CH4 was 9% higher (P = 0.003) for sheep offered 0.7 than for sheep offered 1.0 kg DM/day. In each period, one or other of the high-WSC diploid (HSG) or tetraploid cultivars (TRG) gave lower CH4 yields than did the control diploid (CRG), suggesting that CH4 yield is reduced by characteristics of these cultivars. However, the effect was not consistently associated with either cultivar and could not be attributed to higher forage water-soluble carbohydrate concentrations.
Additional keywords: fresh pasture, greenhouse gas, Lolium perenne, water-soluble carbohydrates.
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