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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Methane-reducing feed additive ready for roll-out in the Netherlands

A large-scale pilot is proving that methane-reducing feed additive, Bovaer®, is ready for roll-out in the Netherlands.

Dutch dairy company, Royal FrieslandCampina, DSM, and feed supplier, Agrifirm, have successfully incorporated Bovaer® into the regular farming activities of just shy of 160 dairy farms in the Netherlands.

It is understood that this is the world’s first large-scale on-farm use of the methane-reducing feed additive for cattle.

The six-month programme, which first got underway in 2022, confirmed that Bovaer® can easily be introduced at scale without impacting animal health, milk production or milk composition, the company said in a statement.

This work supports the quicker adoption of Bovaer® by the dairy sector, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping the Netherlands reach its climate targets.

Testimonial from 125-dairy cow farm

Lars van den Nieuwenhof owns a farm with 125 dairy cows with his parents in Someren, North Brabant.

He participated in FrieslandCampina’s pilot to reduce greenhouse gases on his farm with Bovaer®.

Lars said: “As an industry, we are at a tipping point. We have to move along and try to reduce methane emissions.”

“We were, therefore, eager to participate in this pilot. Moreover, participation is low-threshold, and it requires little effort.”

“The Bovaer® is mixed into the minerals we feed to the cows. Every day, we mix the minimum dose of 150 grams of those minerals through the ration.”

“We also participated in workshops to exchange experiences with other participants. I am definitely satisfied with the results. The cows are producing well, are healthy, vital, and fertile.”

“We will continue to use the feed additive. I am happy that we can make an additional contribution to reducing our impact on the climate.”

400-cow dairy farm

Together with André Kleistra, Jelle Heida has a dairy farm with 400 cows in Hoornsterzwaag, Friesland.

Like other farmers, they have invested in mono-manure fermentation and a nitrogen stripper and farm in a way that suits them: efficient and environmentally friendly.

Jelle said: “I participated in the Bovaer pilot because I was curious whether the feed additive would impact the fermentation process. “

“I did not notice any impact as we added Bovaer to the ration. We also did not observe any changes in the health of our cows or in their milk production and composition.”

“It was an interesting experience in which I learned a lot about how Bovaer works.”

“I am very positive that through our participation, we experienced a simple and safe way to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Together with its member dairy farmers, FrieslandCampina aims to achieve a 33% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on its member dairy farms by 2030 (vs. 2015).

It is, therefore, working on various solutions to achieve this, such as using guaranteed deforestation-free soy in cattle feed, digestion of manure, generating sustainable energy on farms and reducing cow methane emissions using Bovaer®.

Mark van Nieuwland, VP Bovaer® DSM, said it looks forward to continuing its partnership with FrieslandCampina and Agrifirm to ensure Bovaer® “reaches more cows and makes an even greater contribution to tackling agricultural methane emissions”.

“With these developments, we also play a key role in supporting the near-term climate goals of the Global Methane Pledge, signed by more than 150 countries including the Netherlands.”

Article on: Methane-reducing feed additive one step close to EU approval

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