C-Lock Inc’s GreenFeed Technology Provides Methane Measurement Tools for AgNext

Photo by Sydney Gradisar

Here at AgNext, we talk a lot about sustainability and what it means. We define sustainability in three distinct pillars: social, environmental, and economic. The work that we do at AgNext is focused on continuously improving animal agriculture within each of these pillars and empower the supply chain with the tools needed to meet sustainability goals. One way that we can measure sustainability is by analyzing greenhouse gas emissions that are produced by livestock. The question that frequently arises when we discuss sustainability in the realm of animal agriculture and emissions is: how exactly does AgNext measure these emissions to inform its research? 

Photo by Rebecca Crook

One of our most exciting technologies, the GreenFeed machine from C-Lock, Inc, helps us do just that. Thanks to the support of our sponsors, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding and Midwest PMS, we have recently installed GreenFeed machines to quantify emissions from the cattle we study.  

In simple terms, the GreenFeed acts as a portable feeding station to measure emissions while the animal eats. In the case of AgNext’s cattle, these machines dispense a feed treat (alfalfa pellets) to draw the cattle’s attention. Once drawn to the treat, the animal will eat and stand still for emissions to be measured for three to five minutes. The GreenFeed system measures the amount of gas the animal produces in real-time, such as carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen, and oxygen. Implementing the use of the GreenFeed machines enables our team to measure emission fluxes from individual cattle multiple times throughout the day.  

Each steer at the AgNext research facility has an identification tag which enables the GreenFeed machines to accurately document the data for each steer. This includes tracking how often and how long each animal visits the machine, and its emission levels. The GreenFeed machine immediately records the output data, which can be accessed by our researchers in real-time through a digital account powered by the machine’s manufacturer, C-Lock, Inc. Once a steer has visited the GreenFeed machine a total of  21-28 times, our team has enough data to produce a reliable estimate of that steer’s methane output. 

Photo by Sydney Gradisar

The GreenFeed machines are critical to AgNext’s research as it enables us to study emission levels without disrupting the cattle from their natural environment. The GreenFeeds are able to collect emissions from approximately 24-40 head of cattle simultaneously, allowing us to conduct studies more efficiently than we ever have before.  

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to leverage the GreenFeed technology in our research while we work toward identifying sustainable solutions in animal agriculture alongside our industry partners. C-Lock, Inc’s GreenFeed technology has opened the door for the AgNext research team to collect reliable data in an efficient manner.  

View more photos of C-Lock Inc’s GreenFeed technology in the gallery below.

Sydney Gradisar

Sydney Gradisar

Undergraduate Communications Intern

Rebecca Crook

Rebecca Crook

Undergraduate Communications Intern