Seaweed to be our cure for methane emissions

Willie Keane from Clostoken, Loughrea, shaking out the hay during of our recent fine spells of weather. Photo: Hany Marzouk.
Willie Keane from Clostoken, Loughrea, shaking out the hay during of our recent fine spells of weather. Photo: Hany Marzouk.

INTERNATIONAL research indicating that the introduction of seaweed to the diet of cattle could help to significantly reduce methane emissions, should be followed up by further studies here in Ireland, according to Galway IFA.

Over recent weeks, an Australian research project has indicated a major reduction in methane emissions from cattle when a small percentage of dried seaweed was added to their diet.

Methane is released by cattle when they burp or ‘break wind’ – it is considered by scinetists and environmentalists to be far more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Co. Galway IFA Chairman, Pat Murphy, told the Farming Tribune that with environmental issues and emissions coming to the fore on the agricultural agenda, it was vital to fully research any natural and cost-effective solutions.

“If we have a natural resource on our shores that can help to reduce methane emissions from our cattle population, then by all means, it should be fully checked out and researched,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that the initial indications from the Australian research seemed to be quite positive as regards the reduction in methane emissions following the introduction of seaweed to the diet.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.