The UK Agri-Tech Centre has published reports on “potential actions” farmers can take to reduce emissions and the innovation pipeline that will help the livestock sector reach net zero.

CEO of Agri-Tech Centre, Phil Bicknell gave evidence to the House of Lords environment and climate change committee as part of their inquiry on methane.

Agri-Tech Centre told the Lords that farmers can take steps now to reduce methane emissions, and technology is in the pipeline to help them.

The centre is involved in trials and projects aimed at reducing methane emissions through breeding, such as the low-methane sheep project and feed additives, such as the ‘Dancing with Daffodils’ project.

Bicknell said: “Ruminant animals do not just emit methane, they take low-quality feed, such as grass, and turn it into a high-quality and nutrient-dense product.

“Calculating methane emissions from agriculture is complex, it is all very well to generate national figures, but what happens at a farm level is very important.”

Mr. Bicknell added that there are pros and cons in the current ways that emissions are calculated for farmers, but that there is better information than there previously was.

Closed chambers, sniff techniques and handheld lasers are used to monitor methane emission levels, and there are different trials being developed, according to the CEO.

He added that the technology is not up to speed yet, but, the cost and accessibility are improving all the time, and that at the Agri-Tech Centre, it is always trying to accelerate agri-innovation to help inform the government.

Mr. Bicknell stated that there is “technology in the pipeline that will deliver impact” and there is an interest in methane inhibitors.

“However, people should not forget that what is good for farm performance also offers benefits from a sustainability angle,” he said.