Reducing methane emissions from livestock production is important for continued access into premium markets. It is known that seaweed in diets can reduce methane emissions in livestock by 80%. Significant progress has been achieved in demonstrating how seaweed can be deployed in a research feedlot setting. However, there have been no demonstrations of the ability for seaweed to reduce methane emissions in commercial production settings. This is important as methane emissions yield is higher when consuming lower quality feed compared with higher quality feed in a feedlot. In addition, the vast majority of beef cattle in Australia are grazing, with feedlotting representing a relatively small amount of total enteric methane emissions.
This project demonstrates the potential of Asparagopsis armata produced in cold-water regions (e.g. South Australia) to reduce methane emissions in grazing/lower feed quality environments in commercial beef farms. This represents an important step toward equipping industry and beef cattle producers with effective solutions to reduce emissions on-farm, which may provide alternative income streams and help to ensure continued market access.