Home Precision Agriculture Seaweed May Be the Answer to the Burping Cow Problem

Seaweed May Be the Answer to the Burping Cow Problem


Cow burps are a significant issue—and cows belch lots.

Farmed livestock are liable for 14.5 % of all greenhouse gasoline emissions associated to human exercise, in accordance to the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations, with beef and dairy cattle being the greatest offender. Cows make up 65 % of these emissions. A lot of that may be attributed to their methane-rich burps, the results of enteric fermentation, the chemical response that permits cows (and different grazing animals) to break down vegetation.

In an effort to assist scale back their methane output, researchers have turned to cows’ digestive methods searching for methods to enhance their intestine well being. In Europe, researchers inoculated calves with probiotics that will probably reduce methane emissions in half. However these mass inoculations are costly and never accessible for all farmers.

A new research from researchers at UC Davis in California, not too long ago printed in the scientific journal PLOS One, exhibits that seaweed might be a part of the resolution.

Over the course of 5 months, the researchers added small quantities of a dried and powdered seaweed to beef cattle’s feed. There are greater than 11,000 kinds of seaweed, however the one used, a species of purple algae known as Asparagopsis taxiformis, inhibits an enzyme in the cow’s digestive system that contributes to methane conduction. 4 instances a day, the cows had been fed a snack from an open-air contraption that measured traces of methane of their breath. And whereas the seaweed-fed cattle gained as a lot weight as their herd mates, they burped out 82 % much less methane. A taste-test panel was additionally carried out, and it discovered no distinction in the taste or high quality of the seaweed-fed steers.

The UC Davis research additional helps earlier analysis carried out at the College of the Sunshine Coast in Australia, which additionally discovered feeding cattle seaweed to be useful in lowering methane of their burps. The findings may lead to a extra sustainable future for livestock farming of cows, goats and sheep.

There’s one main downside to widespread utility of the findings, nevertheless. Scientists first want to discover a method to additionally farm Asparagopsis taxiformis, as there’s not sufficient of it in the wild to feed all the world’s cattle.


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