New livestock diet uses agri-waste to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The burning of agricultural waste and the methane that’s burped up by cows are two major sources of greenhouse gases. An experimental new type of animal feed, however, is aimed at reducing both the burning and the burps.

Developed by scientists at Spain’s Polytechnic University of Valencia, the new diet includes the rice straw that’s left in the fields after harvesting and the leaves that are pruned from orange and lemon trees which, normally, would end up being burned. Other ingredients are also added to ensure that all the nutritional needs of the animal are met without harming or altering the productive level of the animals.

The feed is intended not only for cows but also for other ruminant livestock, such as goats, water buffalo, and yaks, along with camelid livestock, like camels, llamas, and alpacas. In field tests where it was fed to some such animals, it was claimed to reduce their methane emissions by 8 to 22 percent.

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