A dairy cow feed additive, 3-Nitrooxypropanol (3 NOP), will be licensed for use in Ireland within 12 months, according to Prof Gary Lanigan of Teagasc.

The methane-cutting additive will first be made available for indoor use in dairy cows and will be commercially available for all interested dairy farmers soon, he said.

“The cost is about €80/head so there is a reasonably substantial cost,” Prof Lanigan explained, adding that overall, feed additives will be responsible for 12% of agriculture’s emissions reduction by 2030.

The additive 3 NOP was granted EU approval in 2022 and DSM Nutritional Products Ltd is the only manufacturer of the supplement. It is included in indoor feed rations, but work is still ongoing into the additive’s role in grass-based production systems.

Adding the supplement to dairy rations can reduce cow emissions by between 16% and 21%, based on the average time spent indoors.

Prof Lanigan said that it is hoped 3 NOP will eventually be delivered in a bolus model and that other methane-inhibiting chemicals, such as halides (salts), will soon become mainstream.

“What you tend to see is these technologies are quite expensive at the start but as more of them become available, their price will start to come down substantially over time,” he added.

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Methane-reducing feed additive could cost €110/cow yearly