Legume crops can help reduce methane emissions from cows
Environment Global Warming Climate Change

Legume crops can help reduce methane emissions from cows

James Mwangi Ndiritu
James Mwangi Ndiritu

In 10 seconds? The world’s cows and other ruminant livestock emit more methane than some large countries. Scientists looking for a solution to cut back agricultural CH4 emissions have found some legume crops that can significantly reduce methane production by livestock.

What’s the discovery? German scientists have tested what mixes of forage legume and ryegrass could reduce methane production in animals in the most economical way. In their study, they've compared 8 ryegrass-dicot (one of the two major plant types) mixes of differing proportions. According to their findings, all mixes can cut enteric emissions (gas originating in animals’ intestines). However, some of the added plants can reduce food digestibility. The best performing digestible forage mix was found to be the one containing chicory, which in the right proportion can reduce methane produced by sheep by 25%.

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