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J Anim Sci. 2004 Nov;82(11):3346-56.

Methane emissions from beef cattle: Effects of monensin, sunflower oil, enzymes, yeast, and fumaric acid.

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Centre, Lethbridge, AB, Canada.;


Methane emitted from the livestock sector contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Understanding the effects of diet on enteric methane production can help refine GHG emission inventories and identify viable GHG reduction strategies. Our study focused on measuring methane and carbon dioxide emissions, total-tract digestibility, and ruminal fermentation in growing beef cattle fed a diet supplemented with various additives or ingredients. Two experiments, each designed as a 4 x 4 Latin square with 21-d periods, were conducted using 16 Holstein steers (initial BW 311.6 +/- 12.3 kg). In Exp. 1, treatments were control (no additive), monensin (Rumensin, Elanco Animal Health, Indianapolis, IN; 33 mg/kg DM), sunflower oil (400 g/d, approximately 5% of DMI), and proteolytic enzyme (Protex 6-L, Genencor Int., Inc., CA; 1 mL/kg DM). In Exp. 2, treatments were control (no additive), Procreatin-7 yeast (Prince Agri Products, Inc., Quincy, IL; 4 g/d), Levucell SC yeast (Lallemand, Inc., Rexdale, Ontario, Canada; 1 g/d), and fumaric acid (Bartek Ingredients Inc., Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada; 80 g/d). The basal diet consisted of 75% barley silage, 19% steam-rolled barley grain, and 6% supplement (DM basis). Four large chambers (two animals per chamber) were equipped with lasers and infrared gas analyzers to measure methane and carbon dioxide, respectively, for 3 d each period. Total-tract digestibility was determined using chromic oxide. Approximately 6.5% of the GE consumed was lost in the form of methane emissions from animals fed the control diet. In Exp. 1, sunflower oil decreased methane emissions by 22% (P = 0.001) compared with the control, whereas monensin (P = 0.44) and enzyme had no effect (P = 0.82). However, oil decreased (P = 0.03) the total-tract digestibility of NDF by 20%. When CH(4) emissions were corrected for differences in energy intake, the loss of GE to methane was decreased by 21% (P = 0.002) using oil and by 9% (P = 0.09) using monensin. In Exp. 2, Procreatin-7 yeast (P = 0.72), Levucell SC yeast (P = 0.28), and fumaric acid (P = 0.21) had no effect on methane emissions, although emissions as a percentage of GE intake were 3% (non-significant, P = 0.39) less for steers fed Procreatin-7 yeast compared with the control. This study demonstrates that sunflower oil, ionophores, and possibly some yeast products can be used to decrease the GE lost as methane from cattle, but fiber digestibility is impaired with oil supplementation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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