Journal Article

Evaluation of a model (RUMINANT) for prediction of DMI and CH4 from tropical beef cattle

Methane (CH4) is a byproduct of the digestion of cattle; this gas has a greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming. As the direct measurement of methane demands time and resources, the objective of this work was to evaluate the ability of a mathematical model (RUMINANT) to predict methane emissions from livestock. With this objective, methane measurements were made in individual chambers, and the results were compared with methane emissions estimated by the RUMINANT model. The model showed a high capacity to predict dry matter intake. However, in the case of methane emissions, it did not. The model substantially underestimates methane emission in all diets (six) but one including Leucaena diversifolia. On diets without Leucaena, the precision of the model was adequate, but on diets with Leucaena, there was not a linear regression between the observed and simulated methane emission values. This may be an effect of the anti-methanogenic factors of Leucaena that are not accounted for by the RUMINANT model. This study contributes to improving national inventories of greenhouse gases from the livestock of tropical countries.