This ground-breaking and world first project aims to give every sheep farmer in New Zealand the opportunity to use genetic selection to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our national flock.
The overarching goal is to offer every sheep farmer access to low methane genetics, help them understand the genetic merit of their flock for low methane traits and and support them to be recognised and rewarded for breeding toward lower methane genetics. To achieve this, the Cool Sheep™ Programme will support and accelerate the identification of low methane rams in the breeding sector to increase the supply of rams to lower sheep methane in the national flock.
Globally, New Zealand has led the way in pioneering genetics to reduce methane, having already successfully developed and deployed the ability to genetically select for lower methane emissions in sheep following a ten-year collaboration between Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGgRc), the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) and AgResearch Limited. This work confirmed breeding was a sound option for reducing methane in sheep while maintaining productivity with other traits. Since 2019, methane selection has been successfully piloted with 18 leading sheep breeding flocks through a PGgRc-funded initiative supporting B+LNZ Genetics’ nProve and the AgResearch service.
This subsequent $4.2 million three-year Cool Sheep™ Programme, funded principally by B+LNZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries through the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF), will support and accelerate the identification of low methane rams in the breeding sector to increase the supply of rams to lower sheep methane in the national flock. The low methane credentials of such rams used in sheep flocks will in time be incorporated into on-farm greenhouse gas (GHG) calculators, with the aim of capturing these reductions into the national GHG inventory.
Wednesday 27 September
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Join us for an informative webinar on how to use genetic selection to reduce methane emissions in New Zealand’s sheep flocks. This webinar is tailored for sheep stud breeders and individuals with a passion for genetics.
This online event focuses on harnessing the power of science and research to provide solutions and options in our sheep breeding sector. It is an opportunity to gain valuable insights, interact with our industry experts and learn about available tools that can be used with ram-buying clients who are interested in low-methane rams.
All registrations will be managed online. You can find information about the webinar topics, including a link to register at the link below.