A supplement added to the feed of high-producing dairy cows reduced methane emissions by 30 percent and could have ramifications for global climate change, according to an international team of researchers.
In addition, over the course of the 12-week study conducted at Penn State’s dairy barns, cows that consumed a feed regimen supplemented by the novel methane inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol — or 3NOP — gained 80 percent more body weight than cows in a control group. Significantly, feed intake, fiber digestibility and milk production by cows that consumed the supplement did not decrease.
The findings are noteworthy because methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that methane from livestock makes up 25 percent of the total methane emissions in the United States.