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Reducing enteric methane emissions from dairy cattle: Two ways to supplement 3-nitrooxypropanol

Van Wesemael, D., Vandaele, L., Ampe, B., Cattrysse, H., Duval, S., Kindermann, M., Fievez, V., De Campeneere, S., Peiren, N.
Journal of dairy science 2019 v.102 no.2 pp. 1780-1787
Holstein, dairy cows, diet, dry matter intake, free stalls, greenhouse gas emissions, lactating females, lactation, methane, methane production, milk, milk composition, milk production, mixing, roughage
The aim of this work was to determine the effect of 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) on the enteric methane (CH4) emissions and performance of lactating dairy cows when mixed in with roughage or incorporated into a concentrate pellet. After 2 pretreatment weeks without 3-NOP supplementation, 30 Holstein Friesian cows were divided into 3 homogeneous treatment groups: no additive, 3-NOP mixed in with the basal diet (roughage; NOPbas), and 3-NOP incorporated into a concentrate pellet (NOPconc). The pretreatment period was followed by a 10-wk treatment period in which the NOPbas and NOPconc cows were fed 1.6 g of 3-NOP/cow per day. After the treatment period, a 2-wk washout period followed without 3-NOP supplementation. The CH4 emissions were measured using a GreenFeed unit (C-Lock Inc., Rapid City, SD) installed in a freestall with cubicles during the entire experimental period. On average for the total treatment period and compared with the no-additive group, CH4 production (g/d) was 28 and 23% lower for NOPbas and NOPconc, respectively. Methane yield (g/kg of dry matter intake) and methane intensity (g/kg of milk) were 23 and 24% lower for NOPbas, respectively, and 21 and 22% lower for NOPconc, respectively. No differences were found between NOPbas and NOPconc. Moreover, supplying 3-NOP did not affect total dry matter intake, milk production, or milk composition. The results of this experiment show that 3-NOP can reduce enteric CH4 emissions of dairy cattle when incorporated into a concentrate pellet and that this reduction is not different from the effect of mixing in 3-NOP with the basal diet (roughage). This broadens the possibilities for using 3-NOP in the dairy sector worldwide, as it is not always feasible to provide an additive mixed in with the basal diet.