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Methods of reducing methane emissions using the right diets

Dear colleagues! Did you know that the right diet not only protects your animals and your money, but also reduces the harmful impact on the environment? We, Ukrainians, are a developed European nation, we should be different from our stupid neighbors and look to the future, so we should not forget about the environment!

According to the latest assessment by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, methane is the second most important driver of climate change, accounting for 0.5 degrees of the 1.1 degrees of total human-caused warming since pre-industrial times.

GHGs consist of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. They are very different from each other. The global warming potential of methane and nitrous oxide is 28 and 285 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. Another difference is how long each remains in the atmosphere. For carbon dioxide, it is thousands of years. In contrast, methane only stays for about ten years, while nitrous oxide stays for about 100 years.

Although the contribution to GHG emissions from livestock is a small part of the total, it is important. Most greenhouse gases not associated with animals are in the form of carbon dioxide. However, livestock production produces mainly methane and some nitrous oxide. Gut methane from ruminants contributes to approximately 6% of global human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing methane emissions offers the greatest opportunity to mitigate and possibly reverse global warming.

In addition, methane is an energy loss for the animal. Reducing methane emissions allows more energy to be stored and better used in beef and milk production.

That is why American Dairy Technology nutritionists use the following methods of reducing methane emissions in their work:

1. Optimizing the feeding process to the level of the amount of feed residues on the feed table below 2% reduces the intensity of methane emission (amount of methane/product) due to the reduction of the need for feed needed to produce a certain amount of product.

2. Adding cheap vegetable fats to the diet reduces methane emissions by 5-6%.

3. Replacing soybean and sunflower meal with roasted soybean and rapeseed meal significantly reduces methane production. Such diets reduce the content of milk urea nitrogen (MUN), as well as urea and ammonia in urine.

All the given examples of changing rations are clearly balanced in the program and are personal in each individual case. Contact American Dairy Technology for feeding recommendations for your herd and save nature!

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