Dutch dairy cattle trial shows efficacy of methane reducing feed additive

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The emission reductions vary from 27% up to 40% of methane per cow, depending on the diets and the amount of methane inhibitor in the feed, found the study.

Methane emission from ruminants represents a significant portion of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and contributes to climate change.

The trial evaluating the methane inhibitor ran for three months; it was designed and executed by a consortium from across the Dutch dairy value chain, comprising of DSM, Wageningen University and Research (WUR), cooperative FrieslandCampina, as well as feed companies, Agrifirm, De Heus and ForFarmers.

The trial, which was supervised by a team of cattle nutrition experts at WUR and supported by the Dairy Campus Innovation Fund, aimed to deliver methane reduction results for three different ratios of grass silage and maize silage in dietary roughage, characteristic of feeds in different regions of the Netherlands. Two different dosages of Bovaer were used.

The study evaluated the different diets in 64 Holstein-Friesian cows in mid-lactation.

The trial data can be used to substantiate accreditation of Bovaer by the Carbon Footprint Monitor/Climate Module of the Dutch Kringloopwijzer, the annual nutrient cycling assessment program in the Netherlands. But the findings are applicable for the use of the additive in dairy cattle diets across Europe, said DSM.

Results

Methane was reduced by 27% when a low dose of Bovaer (60 mg/kg DM) was supplemented to a diet without maize silage in the roughage. It was lowered by up to 35% when a low dose of Bovaer was supplemented to a diet containing 80% maize silage in roughage dry matter. With a medium dose of Bovaer (80 mg/kg DM), this percentage ranged from 29% to 40%, said the company.

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