Farm-level cost-effectiveness analysis of in-paddock feeding of methane inhibitors in pasture-based dairy
Various approaches have been proposed to reduce methane emissions from ruminant livestock systems. While methane-inhibiting feed-additives are not yet commercially available in New Zealand, it has been reported that they can reduce enteric methane emissions by 30-90% when fed to ruminant livestock regularly and precisely in total mixed ration systems. This study aims to determine the primary economic performance drivers of using In-Paddock Smart-Feeders (IPSF) for delivering methane inhibitors in pasture-based dairy to understand the conditions in which they are viable. A farm-level financial model is developed, drawing on the Economic Farm Survey produced by DairyNZ. Both a scenario and sensitivity analysis are conducted on the cost-effectiveness of the approach for methane mitigation. The main finding is that the largest cost associated with the approach is the cost of additional
supplement, which would acts as a carrier for the methane inhibitor. Therefore, the quantity of additional supplement used prior to adoption is a key determinant of viability. There is a large range in breakeven methane prices depending on the value of assumptions
used. More certainty in these assumptions is required to fully understand the potential use of IPSFs to deliver methane-inhibiting feed-additives in-paddock.
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