28th August 2017

Methane reduction and dairy

Reducing climate change one burb at a time!

Livestock is responsible for 3.1 Gigaton of methane (CH4) emissions globally. This is 44% of all anthropogenic CH4 (21-36 times the global warming potential of CO2) emission. Most methane comes from enteric fermentation: cow burbs. The demand for meat and dairy is expected to double by 2050 (FAO).

Dairy is a major agricultural product of the Netherlands. Seaweed supplementation has been proven to reduce methane output from dairy cows.  In addition seaweed captures carbon and nutrient run-off from the sea. So by using seaweed in our foodproduction we close the nutrient cycle and reverse ocean acidification. 

We have formed a collaboration with the Dutch Agricultural Organization (LTO) and Wageningen Livestock Research to investigate the potential impact of seaweed supplementation of Dutch native seaweeds on dairy cows. Together with a consortium of stakeholders from the Dutch dairy and seaweed sector (CONO and Hortimare) we want to create a win-win between enabling the dairy farmer with a nature based solution for achieving national climate goals, while assuring the seaweed farmer with a steady market (1.6 million cows).

This project is financed by the Dutch Government, Melkveefonds, and the participating consortium partners.