Rapid City, SD, United States
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Manafiazar G.,University of Alberta | Zimmerman S.,C Lock Incorporated | Basarab J.A.,Lacombe Research Center
Canadian Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2016

The purpose of this study was to determine the repeatability of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from beef cattle using GreenFeed emissions monitoring (GEM) system and as affected by sampling frequency and measurement periods. Twenty-eight crossbred replacement beef heifers were monitored using the GEM system over 59 d to collect their CH4 and CO2 emissions data. Heifers’ feed intake was recorded by eight automated feeding stations. The standardized dry matter intake (SDMI), CH4 and CO2 emission and yield (g kg−1 SDMI) were averaged over 1, 3, 7, and 14 d periods. On average, animals emitted 204.7 g d−1 (SD = 36 g d−1) and 6408 g d−1 (SD = 780 g d−1) of CH4 and CO2, respectively. Between-animal coefficients of variation for all variables decreased with an increasing averaging period (from 1 to 14 d). The coefficient of determination (R2) between CH4 emission and SDMI was increased from 0.25 to 0.73 as averaging period increased from 1 to 14 d. Similarly, the R2 between CO2 emission and SDMI increased from 0.39 to 0.79 as averaging period increased from 1 to 14 d. It was determined that averaging over 7 to 14 d with minimum of 20 spot samples was needed to produce repeatable and reliable averaged CH4 and CO2 emissions and correlated with SDMI. © Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada 2016.


Velazco J.I.,University of New England of Australia | Velazco J.I.,National Institute of Agricultural Research | Mayer D.G.,Agri Science Queensland | Zimmerman S.,C Lock Inc. | Hegarty R.S.,University of New England of Australia
Animal | Year: 2015

Methods to measure enteric methane (CH4) emissions from individual ruminants in their production environment are required to validate emission inventories and verify mitigation claims. Estimates of daily methane production (DMP) based on consolidated short-term emission measurements are developing, but method verification is required. Two cattle experiments were undertaken to test the hypothesis that DMP estimated by averaging multiple short-term breath measures of methane emission rate did not differ from DMP measured in respiration chambers (RC). Short-term emission rates were obtained from a GreenFeed Emissions Monitoring (GEM) unit, which measured emission rate while cattle consumed a dispensed supplement. In experiment 1 (Expt. 1), four non-lactating cattle (LW=518 kg) were adapted for 18 days then measured for six consecutive periods. Each period consisted of 2 days of ad libitum intake and GEM emission measurement followed by 1 day in the RC. A prototype GEM unit releasing water as an attractant (GEM water) was also evaluated in Expt. 1. Experiment 2 (Expt. 2) was a larger study based on similar design with 10 cattle (LW=365 kg), adapted for 21 days and GEM measurement was extended to 3 days in each of the six periods. In Expt. 1, there was no difference in DMP estimated by the GEM unit relative to the RC (209.7 v. 215.1 g CH4/day) and no difference between these methods in methane yield (MY, 22.7 v. 23.7 g CH4/kg of dry matter intake, DMI). In Expt. 2, the correlation between GEM and RC measures of DMP and MY were assessed using 95% confidence intervals, with no difference in DMP or MY between methods and high correlations between GEM and RC measures for DMP (r=0.85; 215 v. 198 g CH4/day SEM=3.0) and for MY (r=0.60; 23.8 v. 22.1 g CH4/kg DMI SEM=0.42). When data from both experiments was combined neither DMP nor MY differed between GEM- and RC-based measures (P>0.05). GEM water-based estimates of DMP and MY were lower than RC and GEM (P<0.05). Cattle accessed the GEM water unit with similar frequency to the GEM unit (2.8 v. 3.5 times/day, respectively) but eructation frequency was reduced from 1.31 times/min (GEM) to once every 2.6 min (GEM water). These studies confirm the hypothesis that DMP estimated by averaging multiple short-term breath measures of methane emission rate using GEM does not differ from measures of DMP obtained from RCs. Further, combining many short-term measures of methane production rate during supplement consumption provides an estimate of DMP, which can be usefully applied in estimating MY. © The Animal Consortium 2015


Updegraff K.,Evergreen Energy | Zimmerman P.R.,C Lock Inc. | Kozak P.,Evergreen Energy | Chen D.-G.,Georgia Southern University | Price M.,South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2010

The GreenCert™ system was developed to help farm and ranch owners to quantify, standardize, pool and market CO2 emissions offset (sequestration) credits derived from improved rangeland or cropland management. It combines a user-friendly interface with the CENTURY biogeochemical model, a GIS database of soil and climate parameters, and a Monte Carlo-based uncertainty estimation methodology. This paper focuses on uncertainty treatment, discussing sources of error, parameter distributions, and the Monte Carlo randomization approach, culminating in a sensitivity analysis of model parameters. Idealized crop and grazing scenarios were used to evaluate the uncertainty of modeled soil organic carbon stocks and stock changes stemming from variability in site and management parameters. Normalized sensitivity coefficients and an integrated index for relative sensitivity of the model to the ensemble of the tested variables indicate that environmental factors are the most important in determining the actual size of the soil carbon stock, but that management is a much more important determinant of short- to medium-term carbon fluxes. GreenCert™ uses the patented C-LOCK® approach to efficiently limit uncertainty in the most critical phase of the modelling process by maximizing the use of available management information, and quantifies the remaining uncertainty in an unbiased fashion using Monte Carlo parameter randomization. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Huhtanen P.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Cabezas-Garcia E.H.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Utsumi S.,Michigan State University | Zimmerman S.,C Lock Incorporated
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2015

Nutritional and animal-selection strategies to mitigate enteric methane (CH4) depend on accurate, cost-effective methods to determine emissions from a large number of animals. The objective of the present study was to compare 2 spot-sampling methods to determine CH4 emissions from dairy cows, using gas quantification equipment installed in concentrate feeders or automatic milking stalls. In the first method (sniffer method), CH4 and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were measured in close proximity to the muzzle of the animal, and average CH4 concentrations or CH4/CO2 ratio was calculated. In the second method (flux method), measurement of CH4 and CO2 concentration was combined with an active airflow inside the feed troughs for capture of emitted gas and measurements of CH4 and CO2 fluxes. A muzzle sensor was used allowing data to be filtered when the muzzle was not near the sampling inlet. In a laboratory study, a model cow head was built that emitted CO2 at a constant rate. It was found that CO2 concentrations using the sniffer method decreased up to 39% when the distance of the muzzle from the sampling inlet increased to 30cm, but no muzzle-position effects were observed for the flux method. The methods were compared in 2 on-farm studies conducted using 32 (experiment 1) or 59 (experiment 2) cows in a switch-back design of 5 (experiment 1) or 4 (experiment 2) periods for replicated comparisons between methods. Between-cow coefficient of variation (CV) in CH4 was smaller for the flux than the sniffer method (experiment 1, CV=11.0 vs. 17.5%, and experiment 2, 17.6 vs. 28.0%). Repeatability of the measurements from both methods were high (0.72-0.88), but the relationship between the sniffer and flux methods was weak (R2=0.09 in both experiments). With the flux method CH4 was found to be correlated to dry matter intake or body weight, but this was not the case with the sniffer method. The CH4/CO2 ratio was more highly correlated between the flux and sniffer methods (R2=0.30), and CV was similar (6.4-8.8%). In experiment 2, cow muzzle position was highly repeatable (0.82) and influenced sniffer and flux method results when not filtered for muzzle position. It was concluded that the flux method provides more reliable estimates of CH4 emissions than the sniffer method. The sniffer method appears to be affected by variable air-mixing conditions created by geometry of feed trough, muzzle movement, and muzzle position. © 2015 American Dairy Science Association.


PubMed | Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Michigan State University and C Lock Incorporated
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2015

Nutritional and animal-selection strategies to mitigate enteric methane (CH4) depend on accurate, cost-effective methods to determine emissions from a large number of animals. The objective of the present study was to compare 2 spot-sampling methods to determine CH4 emissions from dairy cows, using gas quantification equipment installed in concentrate feeders or automatic milking stalls. In the first method (sniffer method), CH4 and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were measured in close proximity to the muzzle of the animal, and average CH4 concentrations or CH4/CO2 ratio was calculated. In the second method (flux method), measurement of CH4 and CO2 concentration was combined with an active airflow inside the feed troughs for capture of emitted gas and measurements of CH4 and CO2 fluxes. A muzzle sensor was used allowing data to be filtered when the muzzle was not near the sampling inlet. In a laboratory study, a model cow head was built that emitted CO2 at a constant rate. It was found that CO2 concentrations using the sniffer method decreased up to 39% when the distance of the muzzle from the sampling inlet increased to 30cm, but no muzzle-position effects were observed for the flux method. The methods were compared in 2 on-farm studies conducted using 32 (experiment 1) or 59 (experiment 2) cows in a switch-back design of 5 (experiment 1) or 4 (experiment 2) periods for replicated comparisons between methods. Between-cow coefficient of variation (CV) in CH4 was smaller for the flux than the sniffer method (experiment 1, CV=11.0 vs. 17.5%, and experiment 2, 17.6 vs. 28.0%). Repeatability of the measurements from both methods were high (0.72-0.88), but the relationship between the sniffer and flux methods was weak (R(2)=0.09 in both experiments). With the flux method CH4 was found to be correlated to dry matter intake or body weight, but this was not the case with the sniffer method. The CH4/CO2 ratio was more highly correlated between the flux and sniffer methods (R(2)=0.30), and CV was similar (6.4-8.8%). In experiment 2, cow muzzle position was highly repeatable (0.82) and influenced sniffer and flux method results when not filtered for muzzle position. It was concluded that the flux method provides more reliable estimates of CH4 emissions than the sniffer method. The sniffer method appears to be affected by variable air-mixing conditions created by geometry of feed trough, muzzle movement, and muzzle position.


A method and system for reducing methane emissions by ruminants. The method includes providing a feed dispenser for feeding ruminants nutrient supplements, and the feed dispenser includes a gas analyzer where a ruminant places its head. The method includes determining a particular ruminant has accessed the feed dispenser such as by reading an identifier from an RFID ear tag and operating the feed dispenser to provide a ration of methane-controlling nutrient supplement. The method includes using the gas analyzer to determine levels of carbon dioxide and methane and operating a data analyzing station to determine a ratio of methane to carbon dioxide and modify the type or amount of nutrient supplement for the ruminant for a next feeding to control methane production or achieve an animal production goal, such as by operating a hopper with supplement compartments. The unit can be monitored remotely and controlled through an Internet connection.


A method and system for reducing methane emissions by ruminants. The method includes providing a feed dispenser for feeding ruminants nutrient supplements, and the feed dispenser includes a gas analyzer where a ruminant places its head. The method includes determining a particular ruminant has accessed the feed dispenser such as by reading an identifier from an RFID ear tag and operating the feed dispenser to provide a ration of methane-controlling nutrient supplement. The method includes using the gas analyzer to determine levels of carbon dioxide and methane and operating a data analyzing station to determine a ratio of methane to carbon dioxide and modify the type or amount of nutrient supplement for the ruminant for a next feeding to control methane production or achieve an animal production goal, such as by operating a hopper with supplement compartments. The unit can be monitored remotely and controlled through an Internet connection.


A method for managing health of ruminants or other animals. The method includes providing a feed dispenser for feeding ruminants nutrient supplements, and the feed dispenser includes a gas analyzer where a ruminant places its head. The method includes determining a particular ruminant has accessed the feed dispenser such as by reading an identifier from an RFID ear tag and operating the feed dispenser to provide a ration of methane-controlling nutrient supplement. The method may include using the identifier to determine that the animal should be vaccinated such as based on their age and no record of prior vaccination. The method includes dispensing a dose of a nasal vaccine into the feed dispenser near the animals nostrils. The method may include discharging a diagnostic agent such as propane or carbon monoxide and processing data collected to diagnose the animal as having a disease or condition such as a lung-related sickness.


A livestock feed system adapted to be modular and readily scalable from one bin assembly to multiple bin assemblies that can be communicatively networked together. The system includes a stainless steel feed bin with an opening on a first surface of the one or more sidewalls for receiving an animal head. The feed bin further includes an access door on a second surface of the one or more sidewalls that is pivotally, slidably, or removably coupled to adjacent portions of the one or more sidewalls to allow easy cleaning of the bin. The system includes a portable support frame supporting the feed bin, and a controller mounted on the support frame. The controller includes a self-contained computer with a processor executing code (programs or software) to provide an animal monitoring and management module that causes the controller to determine intake by an animal accessing the feed bin through the opening.

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