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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 48(2)

Nutritional management for enteric methane abatement: a review

K. A. Beauchemin A D, M. Kreuzer B, F. O’Mara C, T. A. McAllister A

A Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, PO Box 3000, Research Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1, Canada.
B ETH Zurich, Institute of Animal Science, Universitaetstrasse 2, Zurich 8092, Switzerland.
C Teagasc, Head Office, Oak Park, Carlow, Co. Carlow, Ireland.
D Corresponding author. Email: beauchemink@agr.gc.ca
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A variety of nutritional management strategies that reduce enteric methane (CH4) production are discussed. Strategies such as increasing the level of grain in the diet, inclusion of lipids and supplementation with ionophores (>24 ppm) are most likely to be implemented by farmers because there is a high probability that they reduce CH4 emissions in addition to improving production efficiency. Improved pasture management, replacing grass silage with maize silage and using legumes hold some promise for CH4 mitigation but as yet their impact is not sufficiently documented. Several new strategies including dietary supplementation with saponins and tannins, selection of yeast cultures and use of fibre-digesting enzymes may mitigate CH4, but these still require extensive research. Most of the studies on reductions in CH4 from ruminants due to diet management are short-term and focussed only on changes in enteric emissions. Future research must examine long-term sustainability of reductions in CH4 production and impacts on the entire farm greenhouse gas budget.

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