Genetics and breeding help gassy cows be more eco-friendly


In Scotland, SRUC scientists completed a study that finds ways to breed cows that are less gassy and thus produce less of the terrible methane greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. With most of livestock greenhouse gas emissions coming from cattle, this is big news and could help find a way to lower methane emissions from ever-increasing cattle production.

Scientists found that what cows ate made a difference in how much methane they emitted, but they also found there was a particular kind of cattle that emitted the least amount of methane no matter what they ate and those producing the most methane did so no matter what they ate too. Thus, genetics plays a huge role in gas producing cattle and scientists think breeding and this genetic knowledge could help us produce cattle that are less gassy and thus less harmful with greenhouse gas emissions.