Link: reduced emissions from high quality oats (QUOATS)



Animal study:

The results of the work demonstrate that oats could be used to substitute wheat in the concentrate portion of dairy cow diets without loss in productivity.  No differences among treatment in the methane emissions of the cows were found, nor in the outputs of N in urine, which have the potential to influence nitrous oxide emissions.  Milk fat concentrations and yields were lower from animals offered diet C, which suggests an influence of the concentrate premix fed to these animals.  Finally, the fatty acid profile of the milk produced by cows offered the two oat-based diets might be considered to be generally healthier than that produced by cows when offered the wheat-based diet.

Beef & Lamb,Dairy
Project code:
74307 | 411029
01 September 2009 - 31 March 2014
AHDB Beef & Lamb, AHDB Dairy
Project leader:
IBERS, Newcastle University


74307 Final Report Feb 2015

About this project

The Problem:

Modifying diets can reduce emissions from livestock systems.  High oil naked oats (with up to 16% oil) are currently being developed by Aberystwyth University (formerly IGER) in the Sustainable Arable OatLINK project.  It was found that high oil oats decrease methane production by 35% compared to wheat without affecting digestion.


Project Aims:

  1. To develop winter and spring husked oats that combine high oil and low lignin husks and naked oats with high oil
  2. To quantify impact of high oil low lignin husked oats on methane emissions from rumen fermentation.
  3. To quantify the feed value of high oil low lignin oats in comparison with wheat and barley and their impact on feed efficiency
  4. To conduct LCA on environmental impact of incorporating high oil oats in feed rations for ruminants, pigs and poultry
  5. To disseminate information obtained in the project through KT activities economic impact of increased use of oats



The information produced can be included in the beef and sheep roadmap, and can be included in rationing resources.



Experiments at AberystwythUniversity using sheep as a model ruminant will be used to study methane outputs on a range of oat types plus other diets.  A range of diets will be prepared using the most promising lines of oats identified.  Feeding trials on dairy cows, pigs and poultry will be carried out to quantify the effect of selected lines differing in oil and lignin on feed intake and efficiency in comparison with other cereals.  A Life Cycle Assessment of the ruminant and pig production chain and the impact of incorporating oats with increased oil and low lignin compared with wheat and barley will be undertaken.