Date of this Version
The Professional Animal Scientist 31 (2015):601–607
Enteric methane production from cattle and its effect on climate change has been a topic of debate. Multiple studies have explored methods to reduce cattle enteric methane production while simultaneously improving performance. However, most strategies developed have not been widely implemented by cattle producers. Knowledge of producer concerns and perceptions on methane production from cattle and its effect on the environment may be limited. Therefore, the objectives of this survey were to determine what Nebraska producers know about methane production by cattle and how it affects performance and to determine whether different age groups, regions of Nebraska, and production size and type affects producer opinions on enteric methane production and climate change. The survey had a response rate of 22%. Regarding climate change, approximately 39% of producers disagreed, 33% were neutral, and 28% agreed they were concerned. However, producers in central and eastern Nebraska were closer to neutral than producers in western Nebraska (P < 0.05). Younger producers perceived cattle to have a more positive effect on the environment and reported that they were more likely to adopt new management techniques that have been shown to improve animal performance than older producers (P < 0.05). Most producers reported receiving production-related information from veterinarians (47.6%), followed by the “other” category (34.9%), the University of Nebraska (15.6%), and state and federal governments, which were the lowest (1.4 and 0.6%, respectively). In the last 3 yr, approximately 57% of producers attended one or fewer extension meetings, but 37% had not attended any extension meetings.