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Farmers urged to share their thoughts on methane-busting supplements for sheep and cattle

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Cally DupeCountryman
Cattle at Muresk institute, near Northam.
Camera IconCattle at Muresk institute, near Northam. Credit: Adam Poulsen/Countryman

It’s the new tool pegged to help reduce carbon emissions in sheep and cattle, but Meat and Livestock Australia wants to know what farmers think about methane-busting supplements for livestock.

The research body this week launched a 15- to 20-minute survey asking farmers how they supplement their livestock and which delivery forms of methane-reducing products producers are most likely to use.

To complete the survey, farmers would need to have information about stock numbers and supplements handy.

Reducing enteric methane emissions from red meat is a key challenge on the red meat industry’s journey to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

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Asparagopsis growing in a tank.
Camera IconAsparagopsis growing in a tank. Credit: CSIRO/RegionalHUB

Several ingredients being tested as dietary supplements for livestock show potential for reducing methane emissions by inhibiting methanogens in the rumen.

This includes red seaweed, ozone, enzyme inhibitor 3 Nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) and essential oil agolin, as well as blends of garlic and citrus, and oregano and green tea.

Research shows methane reductions can range from 11 per cent to 99 per cent.

With new methane reducing active ingredients becoming available, supplementation is shaping up to be one of key tools producers can use to address this challenge on-farm.

In releasing the survey, MLA said the best method of supplementing livestock would depend on the individual operation.

The results will allow MLA and its partners to focus their research and development on the supplementation products best for producers, therefore helping our industry to achieve its CN30 goal.

Survey responses are anonymous and the results will be aggregated, summarised and reported according to practice groups and Natural Resource Management regions

The Australian red meat industry’s target to be carbon neutral by 2030 means that by 2030, Australian beef, lamb and goat production, including lot feeding and meat processing, aim to make no net release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

The survey is available on the MLA website.

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