Oregano to make cow burps more climate friendly
A new Danish research project at Aarhus University is looking into how the use of oregano in feed can reduce the production of methane in the guts of organically-raised cows to the benefit of the climate.
The project, undertaken in collaboration with the national organic association Økologisk Landsforening and a number of organic food producers, is investigating whether adding oregano in cow diets can reduce methane emissions from cows by 25 percent.
“We know that organic production contributes positively in a strong of areas such as the environment, biodiversity and animal welfare,” said the environment and food minister, Esben Lunde Larsen.
“But we also realise that it faces challenges in other areas. We can’t stop the cows burping, so it’s essential to try out the researchers’ ideas and look into how organic production can become more climate friendly.”
Milk quality and quantity
Cow burps are about 25 times more potent than CO2 and account for 40 percent of the Danish agriculture sector’s emission of greenhouse gases.
The oregano plant contains essential oils which look to be able to stem the growth of the micro organisms which produce methane. It could also improve the quantity and quality of cow milk production.
The project, which has been given six million kroner by the Environment and Food Ministry’s green development and demonstration program (GUDP), is expecting to generate some initial results in May.