Feeding to reduce emissions

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A company developing the next generation of feed supplements to reduce methane emissions from livestock has been launched in Perth, Western Australia.

Rumin8 is an Australian climate technology company designing solutions to radically reduce methane emissions in agriculture.

The company identifies naturally occurring compounds that have anti-methanogenic properties and instead of harvesting and extracting them from plants, is able to reproduce them in a highly efficient, low-cost, scalable and high-quality process to feed to livestock in order to reduce their emissions.

Rumin8 also expects that its products will have significant productivity benefits for farmers as energy normally lost to methane production is instead converted into higher growth rates.

Rumin8’s most advanced product reproduces the bioactive contained in red seaweed (Asparagopsis) and has been shown to reduce methane production in livestock rumen by up to 95 per cent, whether in liquid, solid or slow-release dose formats.

Rumin8 managing director David Messina said the laboratory results of Rumin8’s lead product replicated the methane reductions of red seaweed, but instead of harvesting from the marine ecosystem, the plant’s methane busting bioactive was manufactured and transformed into a stable feed supplement in quality controlled laboratories.

“The identification of Asparagopsis’s anti-methanogenic properties was a game changer in terms of reducing methane emissions from ruminants,” Mr Messina said.

“Rumin8’s product will be able to be produced in a consistent, repeatable, manufacturing process which will be effective at reducing methane production and is expected to be significantly cheaper to produce and provide much more reliable dosing and outcomes.”

Livestock contribute about six per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions through methane created during the food digestion process.

Rumin8 is now partnering with the University of Western Australia, University of Melbourne and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to assess the repeatability of the laboratory trials in animal trials in 2022.

“We have every confidence that just as we were able to replicate the success in the lab, we can do the same with our field trials,” Mr Messina said.

“We’re also confident that there will be productivity benefits — increased growth rates or milk production — for farmers who use Rumin8 products.

“It would be an optimal outcome if Rumin8’s products to reduce methane emissions from livestock are paid for through productivity gains.”