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New feed ingredient touted for reducing dairy methane emissions

Elanco says adding Bovaer to feed is a sustainability practice with the potential to create an annual return of $20 or more per lactating cow.

June 7, 2024

2 Min Read
Holstein cows eating hay in a farm
FEED ADDITIVE: Elanco Animal Health says Bovaer can help food companies meet their climate commitments and consumers’ desire for more sustainable dairy products. ahavelaar/Getty Images

After a comprehensive, multiyear review of a new feed ingredient, Bovaer has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to suppress the enzyme in the cow’s rumen that forms methane. Its distributor, Elanco Animal Health, called it a “blockbuster potential innovation.”

According to Elanco, feeding one tablespoon of Bovaer per lactating dairy cow per day can reduce methane emissions by about 30% — or about 1.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually, while creating opportunity for dairy farmers to be financially rewarded for reducing their dairy’s carbon footprint.

“At an added cost of a few cents a gallon of milk, Bovaer can help food companies meet their climate commitments and consumer desire for more sustainable dairy products,” said Katie Cook, vice president of livestock sustainability and farm animal marketing at Elanco.

“Meanwhile, by engaging in voluntary carbon markets and securing USDA and state conservation programming, dairy producers have a scalable sustainability practice with the potential to create an annual return of $20 or more per lactating cow by feeding Bovaer.”

Elanco plans to begin distribution this summer. Bovaer is already on the market in more than 55 countries and throughout the European Union.

The National Milk Producers Federation said that while dairy farmers have already made great progress toward a “net-zero” future, Bovaer and other new technologies that reduce enteric emissions will help U.S. farmers be rewarded for participating in voluntary, producer-led sustainability initiatives.

“Consumers around the world are demanding lower-carbon foods,” says Gregg Doud, NMPF president and CEO. “Innovations such as Bovaer will help U.S. dairy farmers remain globally competitive and maintain their role as leaders in more sustainable dairy production.”

According to Elanco, feeding 1 million cows with Bovaer would reduce emissions equivalent to removing more than 285,000 cars from the road for a year.

Learn more at dsm.com

Source: Elanco, MFB

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