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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Livestock Nutrient Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385688

Research Project: Improved Practices to Conserve Air Quality, Maintain Animal Productivity, and Enhance Use of Manure and Soil Nutrients of Cattle Production Systems for the Southern Great Plains

Location: Livestock Nutrient Management Research

Title: Dietary mitigation of enteric methane emissions and animal production from ruminants: plant tannins mitigation options

item Min, Byeng

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Enteric methane (CH4) emissions produced by microbial fermentation in the rumen provide the discharge of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. A reduction in CH4 emissions would not only reduce GHG emissions but would also improve the efficiency of animal production. Methane is a source of energy loss from the animal which would otherwise be used for more efficient production of meat and milk. Animal dry matter intake (DMI) is the single important predictor of CH4 production. Each 1.0 kg increase in DMI increased CH4 production by an average of 20.53 (plus/minus 0.87) g per kg of DMI in beef and dairy cattle. However, total methanogens, total protozoa populations, and Firmicutes: Bacteroidetes (F: B) ratio can significantly affect this relationship. In addition, various dietary CH4 interventions including ionophores, chemical compounds, legumes, essential oils, fats, saponins, probiotics, and plant secondary metabolites (e.g., tannins, saponins) have been investigated as methanogenesis inhibitors. However, in some cases, the desired anti-methanogenic effect may coexist with adverse effects such as decreasing DMI and feed efficiency. Tannins are thought to have both beneficial and detrimental effects on feed nutritive value and animal performance. One possible strategy to reduce GHG emissions is dietary modifications that include feeding tannin-rich diets to cattle and other ruminants. Properly designed tannin-rich diets can reduce GHG emissions as enteric CH4 production without negative impacts on animal production. Therefore, GHG reduction strategies should be established to increase ruminant production efficiency, while minimizing losses of CH4 and volatile organic compounds from animal agriculture.