METHLAB is focused on implementing the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as an approach to reduce methane emissions from ruminant livestock. The goal is to refine current on-farm LAB technologies such as direct-fed microbial supplements and/or silage inoculants, currently used to increase production and improve health of animals, with a methane-reducing benefit. Selected METHLAB strains will be tested in ruminants (cows and sheep) to confirm efficacy of methane reductions in vivo.
LAB offer a safe, practical and natural way to influence the rumen microbial community for methane mitigation, creating a more sustainable, emission-efficient food production system. LAB are natural inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants but are also well established as industrial micro-organisms, economically produced in large quantities for incorporation into feed products, making them ideally suited as a microbial technology.
METHLAB aims to enhance impact and advance the knowledge transfer of LAB on-farm technologies to address the reduction of enteric methane emissions in ruminant (specifically cattle and sheep) production systems. Using superior microbial inoculants, it wishes to improve the quality of ruminant feeds which will lead to a reduction in methane and enhanced livestock production. METHLAB will thus lead to environmental and societal benefits.
Following an intensive screening programme, lactic acid bacteria have been identified for use as silage inoculants for inhibition of methane production in ruminants. Some of the active LAB strains were tested as silage inoculants, and the strains which showed best results in terms of reduced loss in DM and digestibility were selected for animal feeding trials following silage production in The Netherlands, Ireland and New Zealand, in cattle and sheep during 2020. To date, some of the feeding trials have already been conducted, and data analysis is ongoing.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.