A novel feed additive can be included in dairy cow diets to significantly reduce methane emissions. That was demonstrated by a trial at the Wageningen University & Research innovation centre Dairy Campus in Leeuwarden. 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. Royal DSM developed the Bovaer methane inhibitor.

Methane emission from ruminants represents a significant portion of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and contributes to climate change. Parties agreed in the Dutch Climate Agreement that the Dutch livestock sector should reduce greenhouse gases with 2 Megatons by 2030.

The trial was designed to deliver methane reduction results for three different ratios of grass silage and maize silage in dietary roughage, typical for Dutch circumstance in different regions, with two different dosages of Bovaer. Sixty-four Holstein-Friesian cows in mid-lactation were enrolled in the study to investigate the effect of supplementation of the methane inhibitor with the different diets.

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