A new study conducted at the Victorian government's Ellinbank SmartFarm has found a biological feed supplement for livestock reduces methane emissions in dairy cattle.
The feed supplement, Mylo, was already scientifically proven to lift weight gain and improve health in calves, and it has been shown to increase milk productivity, and reduce somatic cell count in cows.
Terragen managing director and chief executive Jim Cooper said the study showed the product also reduced methane emissions from cows.
"In the study, the cows not on Mylo emitted 7.5 per cent more methane per litre of milk," Mr Cooper said.
"The average Australian dairy farm - which has 350 cows - whose cows are being fed Mylo and emitting less methane would be producing the equivalent of 100 tonnes less carbon dioxide per year."
"This is a reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 300kg per cow, per year."
The study was conducted in October and November 2021 using 40 lactating Holstein cows.
Two separate treatments, being a control treatment and a Mylo treatment, were allocated to cows at random (20 cows per treatment).
The cows in the Mylo treatment group received 10mL/day of Mylo.
The study ran for 40 days (five days baseline without the experimental diet, 30 days adaptation with the experimental diet and five days of methane measurements with the experimental diet). The modified sulphur hexafluoride tracer technique was used to estimate methane emissions from individual cows.
Milk production from individual cows was measured at each milking, while the weight of each cow was recorded twice daily.
Cows that received the baseline dose of 10ml of Mylo per day gained 21pc more weight than the control cows over a five-week period.
Terragen chief scientist Dr Martin Soust said Mylo had already achieved significant results, with cows on the feed supplement eating less while producing 3pc more milk, and calves putting on about 8pc more weight and weaning up to 10 days earlier.
"Many of Australia's leading dairy farmers and calf rearers are already using Mylo for its productivity benefits; now they can use it to reduce methane as well," Dr Soust said.
"The study at the Ellinbank SmartFarm shows that Mylo can reduce methane emitted by a cow, increase milk production, and improve feed conversion efficiency."
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