Study finds methane reduced
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, had already shown it lifted weight gain and improved health in calves, and it had been shown to increase milk productivity and reduce somatic cell count in cows.
Terragen managing director and CEO Jim Cooper said this new study, based at Australia’s pre-eminent dairy research facility Ellinbank SmartFarm, 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.”
Mr Cooper said cows that received the baseline dose of 10ml of Mylo a day gained 21 per cent more weight than the control cows over a five-week period, a finding which has benefits for the broader cattle industry.
“Our company is changing the face of global agriculture, harnessing the power of nature through world-class science and improving animal wellbeing, soil quality and crop growth,” he said.
“Terragen is also helping address climate change in a sustainable way, and our Mylo feed supplement is proven to give dairy farmers a chance to farm more sustainably and lift productivity.”
More research at Ellinbank SmartFarm is planned to determine if higher doses of Mylo will reduce methane emissions further.
Terragen chief scientist Martin Soust said Mylo had already achieved significant results, with cows on the feed supplement eating less while producing three per cent more milk, and calves putting on about eight per cent more weight and weaning up to 10 days earlier.
“Earlier research conducted at the University of Queensland showed our products work,” Dr Soust said.
“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.”
ABOUT THE STUDY
The study was conducted at Agriculture Victoria’s Ellinbank SmartFarm in October and November 2021.
The Ellinbank SmartFarm is owned by the Victorian Government and is one the world’s most highly respected dairy research farms.
Forty lactating Holstein-Friesian cows were used in the study. 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 (SF6) tracer technique was used to estimate methane emissions from individual cows. Milk production from individual cows was measured at each milking. Liveweight of each individual cow was recorded twice daily.