The potential of 3-nitrooxypropanol to lower enteric methane emissions from beef cattle.

Romero-Pérez, G.A., Okine, E.K., McGinn, S.M., Guan, L.L., Oba, M., Duval, S., Kindermann, M., and Beauchemin, K.A. (2014). "The potential of 3-nitrooxypropanol to lower enteric methane emissions from beef cattle.", Journal of Animal Science, 92(10), pp. 4682-4693. doi : 10.2527/jas.2014-7573  Access to full text


This study evaluated if 3-nitrooxypropanol reduces enteric methane (CH4) emissions when added to the diet of beef cattle. The effects of 3-nitrooxypropanol on related variables including diet digestibility, ruminal fermentation, and ruminal microorganisms were also investigated. Eight ruminally cannulated Angus heifers (549 ± 64.3 kg [mean BW ± SD]) were fed a high forage diet (backgrounding diet) supplemented with 4 levels of 3-nitrooxypropanol (0, 0.75, 2.25 and 4.50 mg/kg BW). The experiment was designed as a duplicated 4 × 4 Latin square with 2 groups of heifers and four 28-d periods. Methane emissions were measured during 3 consecutive days using metabolic chambers. Up to a 5.8% reduction in ad libitum DMI was observed when 2.5 mg/kg BW of 3-nitrooxypropanol was fed (P = 0.03). Increasing level of 3-nitrooxypropanol linearly (P < 0.001) reduced CH4, with 33% less CH4 (corrected for DMI) at the highest level of supplementation compared with the control. Feed energy lost as CH4 was also reduced when 3-nitrooxypropanol was supplemented (P < 0.001). Molar proportion of acetate was reduced (P < 0.001) and that for propionate increased (P < 0.001) with increasing dose of 3-nitrooxypropanol, which in turn led to a reduction in the acetate to propionate ratio (P < 0.001). Total copy numbers of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes for bacteria, methanogens, and 18S rRNA genes for protozoa in ruminal contents were not affected by 3-nitrooxypropanol supplementation (P ≥ 0.31). There was no effect of 3-nitrooxypropanol on DM (P = 0.1) digestibility in the total tract. The use of 4.5 mg/kg BW of 3-nitrooxypropanol in beef cattle consuming a backgrounding diet was effective in reducing enteric CH4 emissions without negatively affecting diet digestibility.

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