AN organisation is encouraging farmers to seek support if they are looking to use a newly available methane inhibitor. 

Bovaer® feed additive, which is produced by dsm-firmeninch, has recently received approval for use in the UK. Its inclusion in cattle diets has been found to lower enteric methane emissions by around 30%, without any impact on intakes, production or cow health. 

Mole Valley Farmers has said the release of this feed additive is 'significant' for farmers, as it is the only one approved for methane reduction in the UK. The organisation is encouraging farmers to seek support if they wish to use it in order to get the most out of the product. 

The organisation has said the feed additive comes at a time when there is 'pressure on the industry' from both milk buyers and the government to reduce emissions. 

Mole Valley Farmers head of nutrition, Dr Chris Bartram, has said farmers will need support to get the most from its inclusion. 

“Bovaer® is an extremely exciting product and offers huge potential for UK livestock producers looking to reduce emissions," he said.

"Over 60 trials in dairy and beef cows, in more than 20 countries have shown that its inclusion can reduce methane emissions by about 30%.

“However, it’s important to consider how it’s included and at what rate, and assess how diets can be balanced effectively to lower overall emissions.

“Mole Valley Farmers has been looking at practical ways to lower farm methane emissions for some time. This has included a trial at Harper Adams University which found that feeding rations based on maize silage and starch reduced dairy methane emissions by about 7%, compared to grass silage and higher fibre diets."

Mole Valley Farmers has been able to predict how much enteric methane specific diets will generate for the last four years, by using its Precision Nutrition rationing program. 

As well as this, a trial is also underway at Duchy College which looks at the impact of halving the carbon footprint of dairy diets on milk constituents and finances. 

Mole Valley have said Bovaer® will play a 'significant' role in methane reduction. It works by targeting the rumen microorganisms responsible for the production of methane. However, the feed additive is completely broken down in the cow and is not found in milk, meat, urine or manure.

It can be be incorporated into dairy minerals or concentrate blends for mixing into TMR (Total Mixed Rations) and partial TMRs.

Dr Bartram added: “We can advise on how best to deliver Bovaer® to your herd, at the optimum inclusion rate and use our Precision Nutrition Rationing program and Bovaer® equation to predict how its inclusion will lower methane emissions.

“The fact we are the only company in the UK to have blend, compound and mineral manufacturing facilities in house means we can deliver a bespoke, cost effective, efficient service.”