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British NFU Urges Clarity on Methane-Suppressing Feed Products for Farmers

Source: The DairyNews
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The National Farmers' Union (NFU) is advocating for clear information on the functionality and impact of methane-suppressing feed products, following the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs' (Defra) initiative to encourage their widespread adoption.
British NFU Urges Clarity on Methane-Suppressing Feed Products for Farmers

Defra has confirmed its collaboration with farmers to promote the use of methane-suppressing feed products, which are anticipated to enter the market by 2025, with broad adoption by farmers no later than 2030.

Methane-suppressing feed products, incorporating methane production inhibitors, seaweeds, essential oils, organic acids, probiotics, and antimicrobials, have shown promise in significantly reducing emissions, particularly in confined cattle.

While the NFU welcomes the government's move, it emphasizes that these feed products are just one aspect of the larger methane reduction puzzle, urging a holistic approach that considers various techniques. Defra has responded by outlining plans to incentivize the adoption of methane-suppressing feed, addressing concerns raised by the NFU about potential additional input costs.

Despite the positive response, the NFU highlights other critical issues, including the financial impact, certification credibility, widespread availability, and addressing inconsistent cattle intake in grazing systems. There are also questions about the accuracy of calculators used to represent the warming potential of methane from livestock.

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw stresses the need for clarity on how these products work, their long-term effectiveness, and their impact on animal health and welfare. Farmers are committed to sustainable and climate-friendly food production, aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

Livestock, especially cows and sheep, contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. Research indicates that methane-inhibiting feed products hold promise in reducing these emissions. Farming Minister Mark Spencer underscores the importance of exploring ways to assist farmers in sustainable food production while reducing emissions from agriculture. He aims to mandate the use of safe and effective methane-suppressing feed products in suitable cattle systems in England as soon as feasible.

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
senior director of the agri-food analytics lab and a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University.
European politics are notoriously intricate, and the recent EU elections have highlighted a growing fatigue in the West towards socialist and urban-centric policies that impact agriculture and the agri-food sectors.
John Williams
John Williams
The Australian Dairy Products Federation (ADPF) Chair
This is probably one of the most significant numbers I have seen in the global dairy industry stats for a long time.