Seaweed Shows Potential for Cutting Dairy Cow Methane Emissions

Seaweed was added at 0.5 to 1% of ration dry matter to reduce methane emissions. ( Farm Journal, Inc. )

Research at the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) feeding seaweed to dairy cows shows potential to reduce enteric methane emissions.

Cows were fed seaweed at the rate of either 0.5 or 1.0% of their dry matter intake, and preliminary results shows “well over 30%” reduction in their methane emissions.

But a lot more work needs to be done, since it would take nearly 165,000 tons of freeze-dried seaweed to feed a half pound per day to California’s 1.8 million dairy cows. Current prices for food- or cosmetic-grade seaweed range from $18 to $39/lb. And the type of seaweed fed in the UC-Davis trial is not native to the California coast.

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