In a first for Victoria, in southeastern Australia, seaweed is being farmed to reduce methane emissions in cows. Asparagopsis armata is the alga of choice, and it’s being cultivated in Port Phillip — on Melbourne’s doorstep.
The numbers are impressive. Feeding a small ration can reduce a cow’s methane emissions by 98 per cent. It is a natural product that is readily available, and it could even help the cattle gain weight faster. Scientists are working on other uses for the seaweed, but it is the livestock application that is being targeted in Victoria for the time being.
A recent study found that including Asparagopsis in a steer’s feedlot ration at a rate of 0.20 per cent of organic matter could reduce its methane emissions by up to 98 per cent. “We see globally and particularly here in Australia that the use of Asparagopsis as a livestock supplement is a very advanced field,” Immersion Group director Scott Elliott said. “We have a representative body called Future Feed that is working hand in hand with industry in order to get this into the guts of animals and to reduce methane.”
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