Feeding cows seaweed could make them less gassy ~ better for environment

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Feeding Cows Seaweed

California is wanting to see a reduction in greenhouse gases, and scientists say all it takes is adding seaweed to a cow’s diet.

Based on preliminary results, the seaweed could help dairy operations cut the level of methane emissions by more than 30 percent.

Methane is created in cattle production when cows pass gas, belch and defecate.  While methane can be a short-lived climate pollutant, it is considered more potent as a heat-trapping gas than carbon dioxide.

In the first seaweed project of its kind, only a touch of seaweed was added to the cattle’s diet.  Scientists say they could easily add more seaweed if needed.

Cows usually eat about 50 pounds of feed per day, and the seaweed mixture takes up only about a half pound of the animal’s diet.  So far, there have been no drop in milk yields.  

A single adult dairy cow can release 70-120 kilograms of methane emissions each year…  this is basically equal to the carbon footprint of a car driving about 7,800 miles.

(***source:  CNBC, Seattle Times, Sacramento Bee)

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