Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gas News: FartLess Cows?

Dairy industry looks to engineer gasless 'cow of the future'

"The cow is responsible for the majority of the greenhouse gas on the farm itself. We know there are ways that we can find to cut or reduce that production."
Thomas Gallagher

The US dairy industry wants to engineer the "cow of the future" to pass less gas in a project aimed at cutting the industry's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.

The cow project aims to reduce intestinal methane, the single largest component of the dairy industry's carbon footprint, said Thomas Gallagher, chief executive officer of the US Dairy and Dairy Management Inc's Innovation Centre in Rosemont, Illinois.

One area to be explored is modifying the dairy cows' feed so they produce less methane, said Rick Naczi, the leader of the initiative.

"Right now there is some work being done on fish-oil additives and some other things," he said.
Another possible solution is targeting the microbes in the cow's gut, Naczi said.

"You can change the mix of the bacteria in the cow's rumen and change the methane production that way."

Read report here

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