Refining direct fed microbials (DFM) and silage inoculants for reduction of methane emissions from ruminants

This proposal is focused on implementing the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as an approach to reduce methane emissions from ruminant livestock. The goal will be to refine current on-farm LAB technologies such as direct-fed microbial supplements and/or silage inoculants, currently used to increase production and improve health of animals, with a methane-reducing benefit. Selected METHLAB strains will be tested in ruminants (cows and sheep) to confirm efficacy of methane reductions in vivo. LAB offer a safe, practical and natural way to influence the rumen microbial community for methane mitigation, creating a more sustainable, emission-efficient food production system. LAB are natural inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants but are also well established as industrial micro-organisms, economically produced in large quantities for incorporation into feed products, making them ideally suited as a microbial technology. The partners in this proposal are from Global Research Alliance (GRA) member countries that share the goal of reducing methane emission intensity across ruminant classes in a manner that maintains agricultural production and sustains environmental integrity. METHLAB brings together a global network of multidisciplinary researchers to enhance impact and advance the knowledge transfer of LAB on-farm technologies to address the reduction of enteric methane emissions in ruminant (specifically cattle and sheep) production systems. Using superior microbial inoculants (which we will identify in the project), we aim to improve the quality of ruminant feeds which will lead to a reduction in methane and enhanced livestock production. METHLAB will thus lead to environmental and societal benefits with the potential to deliver green jobs and increase competitiveness in the agri-food sector.

Teagasc, Ireland
Prof. Catherine Stanton

Project partners
University College Cork, Ireland
Institut National de Recherche en Agronomie (INRA), France
Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
AgResearch Limited, New Zealand
SACCO S.R.L, Italy

Total requested funding
1,036,000 €

Project duration
36 months

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