Methane mitigation strategies - USA
|Archived||Source : Innovation Center For US Dairy|
There are an abundance of CH4 mitigation strategies that have been studied, falling under several overlapping categories:
- Increasing Animal Production: When maintenance requirements are decreased relative to production, less CH4 is released per unit product (meat or milk). Total CH4 will be reduced if production remains constant and there are fewer cows.
- Bulk Feeding Practices: Feeding greater quality feeds will increase animal production and feed efficiency. Certain feeds can also enhance propionate or decrease acetate production (Equations 2 and 3, page 3), removing H2 that would otherwise be used for methanogenesis.
- Additives/Inhibitors: Specific substances can be fed which directly or indirectly inhibit methanogenesis.
- Re-directing fermentation: Hydrogen can be re-directed to other sinks, or microbes can be removed which contribute to H2 production.
- Biological Control: Natural antibodies or bacteria-killing molecules can be employed to target microbes that promote or perform methanogenesis.
Although dairy cows are of primary concern, studies using other ruminant animals (sheep, goats, beef cattle) are included for reference. Many of the principles behind CH4 reduction can be generalized to include all ruminants. However, the right mitigation approach must be tailored to the specific needs of the farmers and animals. Most importantly, mitigation strategies should at least be cost-neutral if we expect farmers to adopt the changes (Waghorn, 2009).
Source: Gina L. Laur, ‘Evaluation of strategies to reduce enteric methane emissions from U.S. dairy cows’, pages 6 & 7 (paper supplied by DMI/Innovation Center for US Dairy)