Garlic, Birdsfoot trefoil may reduce cows’ methane emissions

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Researchers in Wales are investigating two different options for reducing methane emissions from cows.

In the first project, researchers at the University of Wales have been feeding cows garlic. Initial results indicate the practice could cut cows’ methane emissions by 50 percent. In addition to measuring methane-gas emissions, during the three-year study researchers also will test to see if feeding garlic gives the cows bad breath, or changes the taste of milk or meat produced.

Another research project in Wales, is feeding cows a grazing mix of Birdsfoot trefoil, white clover and perennial ryegrass. Initial results at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research show that adding Birdsfoot trefoil to the diet has the potential to reduce methane gas emissions and increase milk production. The researchers say that feeding Birdsfoot trefoil to cows improves the cows’ digestion efficiency which allows her to digest high-sugar grasses more efficiently.

To read the BBC article about the garlic research go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/mid_/6288012.stm

To read the article from the Telegraph on the Birdsfoot trefoil research go to:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/earth/2007/07/09/eacow109.xml

BBC News, Telegraph.co.uk

 



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