Beef farmers can breathe easier thanks to University of Alberta researchers who have developed a formula to reduce methane gas in cattle. By developing equations that balance starch, sugar, cellulose, ash, fat and other elements of feed, a Canada-wide team of scientists has given beef producers the tools to lessen the methane gas their cattle produce by as much as 25 per cent. “That’s good news for the environment,” said Stephen Moore, a professor of agricultural, food and nutritional science at the University of Alberta in Canada. “Methane is a greenhouse gas, and in Canada, cattle account for 72 per cent of the total emissions. By identifying factors such as diet or genetics that can reduce emissions, we hope to give beef farmers a way to lessen the environmental footprint of their cattle production and methane reductions in the order of 25 per cent are certainly achievable.” Using information from previous studies, the researchers compiled an extensive database of methane production values measured on cattle and were able to formulate equations to predict how much methane a cow would produce based on diet.
May 19, 2009
Original web page at Science Daily