An inhibitor persistently decreased enteric methane emission from dairy cows with no negative effect on milk production
Methane from enteric fermentation in the ruminant digestive system is a major contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and worldwide. Methane is also a net loss of feed energy to the animal. This study was undertaken to investigate the effect of a methane inhibitor on enteric methane emissions from lactating dairy cows. The experiment demonstrated that, under industry-relevant conditions, the inhibitor persistently decreased by 30% enteric methane emissions, without negatively affecting animal productivity. The spared methane energy was partially used for tissue synthesis, which led to a greater body weight gain by the inhibitor-treated cows. If adopted, this mitigation practice could lead to a substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the ruminant livestock sector.