7 Oct 2010

University to measure environmental impact of cows

6:10 am on 7 October 2010

A Lincoln University project aims to simplify the way farmers measure the environmental impact of dairy cows.

A doctoral candidate at Lincoln's Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty, Paul Cheng, is developing a method to measure the efficiency with which cows convert feed protein to milk protein.

He says over the past few decades, farmers have concentrated mainly on maximising milk production, but that has now changed because of increased public concern about the impact dairying is having on the environment.

He says the test should also help the dairy industry to breed cows that use their feed more efficiently and are more environmentally-friendly.