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A new comprehensive pilot project with Arla and DSM will reduce greenhouse gasses from dairy cows by 30%

Arla and Royal DSM are ready with a new comprehensive pilot project, where farmers across three European countries will test the methane-reducing feed additive Bovaer® on 10.000 dairy cows. Global research and previous experiments on farms have shown a reduction in the transmission of methane of approx. 30% without negatively influencing animal welfare.

The transmission of the greenhouse gas methane is one of the dairy industry’s largest climate-related challenges. Cows are ruminants which means that they burp and transmit methane when they digest feed. On average, approx. 40% of the total gas emissions from Arla’s farms stem from the cows’ digestion of feed.

With an average CO2e-emission of 1.15 kg per kg of milk, Arla’s shareholders are amongst the most climate-efficient dairy producers in the world. At the same time, they are committed to accelerating their reduction in greenhouse emissions with the feed additive Bovaer®.

Documented Climate Solution

Bovaer® is a food additive for cows and other ruminants. For 10 years, DSM has researched and developed the additive which, so far, has been tested in 14 countries worldwide. It is the first union authorized feed additive ever which has been scientifically proven in terms of reducing the emission of methane and, at the same time, is safe for the animals, consumers, and the environment. Bovaer® is currently marketed in the EU, Brazil, Chile, and Australia.

Bovaer® works by suppressing the enzyme that releases the production of methane in cows’ digestive systems. It works immediately and is safely broken down to substances that already exist in the cow’s stomach. Moreover, it has been scientifically proved that it does not impact the quality of the milk. Only a quarter of a teaspoon added to the cow’s feed daily will reduce the emission of methane gas by 30 percent. In this way, the food additive contributes to a significant and immediate reduction in the meat- and dairy industry’s climate footprint.

The Pilot Project in Praxis

During the summer and fall of 2022, Arla will together with its shareholders establish a diverse group of farms for the pilot project. During the project, farmers will receive Bovaer® from their feed suppliers and mix it with feed for their dairy cows. Arla is collecting milk samples to analyze and compare them with milk from dairy cows not receiving the feed additive. If the results turn out as expected, Arla is planning to double the pilot project to 20.000 dairy cows in 2023.

Source: Arla (full text in Danish)