Italian trials show Bovaer achieved close to 50% methane reduction in dairy cows

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/deimagine
© GettyImages/deimagine

Related tags methane emissions dsm-firmenich 3-NOP

dsm-firmenich says its feed supplement, Bovaer, achieved significant reductions in methane emissions in two trials in Italy, the first ever evaluation of the additive in that market.

Two on-farm studies conducted by CERZOO, the dairy farm of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UNICATT) in Piacenza, Italy, assessed the efficacy of Bovaer (3-nitrooxypropanol or 3-NOP) in ruminants consuming diets rich in corn silage.

At the recommended minimum dose, Bovaer was found to reduce enteric methane emissions by 44 to 50% while maintaining milk production and composition, milk fatty acids profile, animal health and welfare, and feed efficiency.

The CERZOO facility carried out two trials of the additive of 12 weeks duration; they took place in summer and winter, and included a two-week adaptation phase, a 9-week trial period and a two-week post application stage, explained Dennis Rijnders, regional commercial director, Bovaer, at dsm-firmenich.

During the trial, cows were either fed an Italian, corn silage-based, diet with a quarter teaspoon of Bovaer or assigned to a control group. The GreenFeed system was used to analyze the cows’ breath for methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen emissions, enabling the methane reduction achieved with the DSM product to be measured accurately.

UNICATT is currently preparing to publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal.

Bovaer is authorized and available for sale in over 40+ countries, including the EU/EEA, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Pakistan, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Long-term efficacy of Bovaer

A study published by Hristov et al. 2022​ reported a consistent reduction in enteric methane production, yield, and intensity for 3-NOP, without a negative effect on production performance of confined dairy cows in a meta-analysis. However, it also maintained the efficacy of 3-NOP seems to decrease over time and it has a very short-lived active period in the rumen.

Reacting to that study, Rijnders told FeedNavigator that the company has been working with the research community for over 10 years to gather data on Bovaer, resulting in over 60 peer reviewed articles including multiple meta-analysis showing the product is effective in all stages of lactation.

“The primary reasons for differences in percentage methane emissions reduction is the dose level and the ration fed (mainly through NDF and fat percentages in dry matter).

“Dsm-firmenich has already done trials of 18 months on a commercial farm setting and a one-year study at the Dairy Campus in Leeuwarden together with Wageningen Livestock Research showing the product remains effective. The Dairy Campus/WUR/WLR trial is currently going through the publication process.”

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