Sunday, November 26, 2017
Scientist discovers particular seaweed reduces methane to nearly zero in cow burps, farts. A P.E.I. farmer has helped lead to a researcher's discovery of an unlikely weapon in the battle against global warming: a seaweed that nearly eliminates the destructive methane content of cow burps and farts. Joe Dorgan began feeding his cattle seaweed from nearby beaches more than a decade ago as a way to cut costs on his farm in Seacow Pond. He was so impressed with the improvements he saw in his herd, he decided to turn the seaweed into a product. "There's a mixture of Irish moss, rockweed and kelp, and just going to waste," he said. "And I knew it was good because years ago, our ancestors, that's what they done their business with." The agricultural scientist, then at Dalhousie University, helped test Dorgan's seaweed mix, and discovered it reduced the methane in the cows' burps and farts by about 20 per cent. Kinley knew he was on to something, so he did further testing with 30 to 40 other seaweeds. That led him to a red seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis he says reduces methane in cows burps and farts to almost nothing.