Emerging Dairy Feed Additives Show Promise to Significantly Reduce US Dairys Environmental Footprint
February 27, 2020
Newtrient, in collaboration with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and leading agriculture environmental experts, released an update on the potential of dairy feed additives for reducing dairy’s environmental footprint.
At just 2% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), U.S. dairy has made significant improvements to produce food more efficiently, conserve resources and reduce waste. Dairy farmers remain committed to continuous improvement and rely on the latest science and technology advancements. With exponential increases in science and technology discoveries, dairy is perfectly positioned to reduce its environmental footprint and go beyond to provide environmental solutions.
Though the overall dairy contribution to U.S. GHG production is modest, enteric methane emissions (CH4), including gas released from cow burps, account for approximately one-third of a dairy farm’s GHG footprint (U.S. Dairy LCA, 2013). Consequently, emerging research and a growing number of companies are focused on improving the cow’s diet by introducing new feed additives to improve digestibility and reduce enteric methane emissions.
“Early studies point to feed additives as a promising solution to reduce methane emissions. More research needs to be done, but I’m optimistic that some feed additives could potentially reach 30% methane reduction in the coming years,” said Frank M. Mitloehner, Ph.D., UC Davis Department of Animal Science.
Ranging from plant extracts to seaweed, some feed additive products are being explored on farms today while many others are in early stage development. Several companies have emerged with promising products to increase feed efficiency with secondary benefits of reducing enteric emissions while others are specifically targeting reduced enteric emissions. Newtrient’s update highlights emerging dairy feed additive market availability and potential to reduce enteric emissions.
“While several feed additives are on the path to market, few dairy farmers have access to these products today due to the rigorous approval process and long-term, controlled farm studies. Newtrient is hopeful and will continue to explore feed additives as a potential pathway to reduce emissions on farms of all sizes and regions,” said Jim Wallace, SVP of Engineering and Business Development at Newtrient.
Newtrient LLC was formed by 14 leading dairy organizations and represents nearly all US dairy farmers. Created to reduce the environmental footprint of dairy and make it economically viable to do so, Newtrient delivers innovative technology, manure-based product and market-driven solutions to create added value for farmers, communities and the environment.