More milk, less warming: that’s the promise of a probiotic formula being developed for cows. Two US-based researchers have discovered natural enzymes that reduce the amount of planet-heating methane burped by livestock. The pair estimate the enzymes, could reduce cows’ methane by at least 80%. Methane is New Zealand’s trickiest climate problem and the discovery excited an agricultural investment group – which put $4.1 million towards the next trials of the formula. AgriZero – a partnership between the NZ Government and businesses including Fonterra, Silver Fern Farms and Synlait – is the biggest investor in the start-up Hoofprint Biome co founded by Kathryn Polkoff and Scott Collins. They tested the impact of the enzyme in an artificial rumen and are now moving on to real animals – evaluating different ways to deliver the supplement and measuring what happens to methane emissions, feed intake and milk production.
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