Investigating management and feeding options to reduce methane emission in the gastrointestinal tract of dairy cattle.
Ruminants digest their diet with the help of rumen microorganisms, that ferment the plant materials and provide the animal with energy and nutrients. Methane, an important greenhouse gas, is released as a by-product of the fermentation processes in the digestive tract. By adapting ration composition, methane emissions can be reduced; but not much is known on the feasibility or efficiency of these measurements under Dutch circumstances. In the long-term project Low-emission animal feed, financially supported by the Dutch Product Board Animal Feed, the Dutch Dairy Board and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, several management and feeding strategies will be tested to reduce methane emission for a sustainable agricultural sector.