EUROPE – Dutch health nutrition and bioscience corporation, DSM, is working jointly with the leading dairy producers in Scandinavia, Arla foods, in testing the effects of methane reducing additive Bovaer in cows in Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

Bovaer is a feed additive for cows researched and developed by DSM over 10 years with 45 on-farm trials in 13 countries across 4 continents.

The pilot tests follow a similar one conducted in Finland by DSM in partnership with Finnish dairy giant Valio and Atria’s subsidiary A-Rehu.

The successful pilot test in Finland paved way for the additive’s approval for marketing in the European member states in February.

Throughout the Summer and Autumn of 2022, Arla and its farmer owners will collaborate in ensuring the 10000 cows involved are selected from a diverse group of 50 farms.

Participating farmers will obtain Bovaer from their feed suppliers and mix it into the feed for their dairy cows.

Arla will then collect and analyze the milk samples from these cows. Milk from dairy cows that were not fed Bovaer will act as the control.

Bovaer takes action immediately by suppressing the enzyme responsible for methane production in cow’s digestive systems after which it is broken down to compounds that occur naturally in a cow’s stomachs.

Scientific studies and previous pilot tests found the additive does not affect the quality of milk, according to the developer.

One quarter of a teaspoon per cow per day yields a 30% reduction in enteric methane emission per kilogram of milk, enabling a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of milk.

An even higher percentage (up to 90%) reduction in methane emissions is reported for beef cows.

If the pilot initiative conforms to expectations, Arla intends to expand the project to include 20,000 dairy cows in 2023.

DSM has invested in a large-scale facility at its site in Dalry, Scotland to manufacture Bovaer in preparation for further scale up in subsequent years.

Work on the new plant is underway and the site is set to be fully operational by 2025.

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, said: “Methane reducing feed additives are a crucial part of the solutions that the agriculture sector needs to deploy towards achieving climate ambitions. This multi- million-pound investment will make Scotland the home of this innovative product and highlights that Scotland is leading the way in delivering a net zero future.”

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