Massey Scientists Reduce Cow Burps to Save Planet
More than a dozen calves wait at a research farm in New Zealand to be fed “Kowbucha”, a probiotic that studies show reduces methane emissions – or burps, Lucy Craymer writes in a Reuters story published by The Japan Times. The Kowbucha powder is blended into a milk-like drink fed to the calves at the Massey University farm in Palmerston North. The regular feeds are part of a series of trials being carried out by dairy giant Fonterra since 2021 to gauge how effective the probiotic is in reducing methane emissions.
New Zealand has pledged to cut biogenic methane emissions by 10 per cent on 2017 levels by 2030 and by up to 47 per cent by 2050, Craymer reports.
The “true eureka moment” came when early trials suggested that calves emit up to 20 per cent less methane when they receive the probiotic supplement, principal scientist at Fonterra Research and Development Centre Shalome Bassett said.
“Probiotics are great because they’re a really natural solution,” Bassett said.
Original article by Lucy Craymer, Reuters, The Japan Times, October 11, 2022.