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Canadian scientists breeding cows that burp less

 
JADR
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User ID: 617358
Australia
06/23/2009 08:29 AM
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Canadian scientists breeding cows that burp less
[link to www.phenomenica.com]

Toronto, June 23: Canadian scientists are breeding a special type of cow designed to burp less, a breakthrough that could reduce a big source of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

Cows are responsible for nearly three-quarters of total methane emissions, according to Environment Canada. Most of the gas comes from bovine burps, which are 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

Stephen Moore, a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, is examining the genes responsible for methane produced from a cow's four stomachs in order to breed more efficient, environmentally friendly cows.

The professor of agricultural, food and nutritional science completed primary tests using traditional techniques to breed efficient animals that produce 25 percent less methane than less efficient animals. But more work needs to be done before the long-term impact is known. Moore's study was published earlier this year in the Journal of Animal Science.

"We are working on producing diagnostic markers for efficient animals. We are looking at the next generation of technologies that will enable us to determine the genetics of an animal through a blood test or testing some hairs that you might pluck from the animal," said Moore.

To shrink cattle's ecological footprint, ranchers could also decrease the time cows are left standing in the field by getting animals to market sooner. That means breeding cattle that grow faster. Also, through breeding, cattle could become more efficient in converting feed into muscle and producing less methane and waste, said Moore.

Another method already being used to reduce methane emissions is feeding livestock a diet higher in energy and rich in edible oils, which ferment less than grass or low-quality feed.

New Hampshire-based Stonyfield Farm, an organic yogurt producer in which Groupe Danone holds a majority stake, reduced emissions from their cows on an average of 12 percent by adding alfalfa, flax or hemp to livestock feed on a small number of its farms.

"If every US dairy farmer reduced emissions by 12 percent it would be equal to about half a million cars being taken off the road," said Nancy Hirshberg, vice president of Stonyfield's Natural Resources department.
Dear sir, poor sir, brave sir: You are an experiment by the Creator of the Universe. You are the only creature in the entire Universe who has free will. You are the only one who has to figure out what to do next--and why. Everybody else is a robot, a machine.

"MANE – THECEL – PHARES."
JADR (OP)

User ID: 617358
Australia
06/23/2009 08:30 AM
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Re: Canadian scientists breeding cows that burp less
Well done Canada!!!
Dear sir, poor sir, brave sir: You are an experiment by the Creator of the Universe. You are the only creature in the entire Universe who has free will. You are the only one who has to figure out what to do next--and why. Everybody else is a robot, a machine.

"MANE – THECEL – PHARES."
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 708865
Ireland
06/23/2009 08:30 AM
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Re: Canadian scientists breeding cows that burp less
Bovine flare....
JADR (OP)

User ID: 617358
Australia
06/23/2009 08:47 AM
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Re: Canadian scientists breeding cows that burp less
Bovine flare....
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 708865


This is amazing..Scientist actually working on engineering a burp free cow...
Dear sir, poor sir, brave sir: You are an experiment by the Creator of the Universe. You are the only creature in the entire Universe who has free will. You are the only one who has to figure out what to do next--and why. Everybody else is a robot, a machine.

"MANE – THECEL – PHARES."
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 456756
United States
06/23/2009 08:48 AM
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Re: Canadian scientists breeding cows that burp less
[link to www.phenomenica.com]

Toronto, June 23: Canadian scientists are breeding a special type of cow designed to burp less, a breakthrough that could reduce a big source of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

Cows are responsible for nearly three-quarters of total methane emissions, according to Environment Canada. Most of the gas comes from bovine burps, which are 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

Stephen Moore, a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, is examining the genes responsible for methane produced from a cow's four stomachs in order to breed more efficient, environmentally friendly cows.

The professor of agricultural, food and nutritional science completed primary tests using traditional techniques to breed efficient animals that produce 25 percent less methane than less efficient animals. But more work needs to be done before the long-term impact is known. Moore's study was published earlier this year in the Journal of Animal Science.

"We are working on producing diagnostic markers for efficient animals. We are looking at the next generation of technologies that will enable us to determine the genetics of an animal through a blood test or testing some hairs that you might pluck from the animal," said Moore.

To shrink cattle's ecological footprint, ranchers could also decrease the time cows are left standing in the field by getting animals to market sooner. That means breeding cattle that grow faster. Also, through breeding, cattle could become more efficient in converting feed into muscle and producing less methane and waste, said Moore.

Another method already being used to reduce methane emissions is feeding livestock a diet higher in energy and rich in edible oils, which ferment less than grass or low-quality feed.

New Hampshire-based Stonyfield Farm, an organic yogurt producer in which Groupe Danone holds a majority stake, reduced emissions from their cows on an average of 12 percent by adding alfalfa, flax or hemp to livestock feed on a small number of its farms.

"If every US dairy farmer reduced emissions by 12 percent it would be equal to about half a million cars being taken off the road," said Nancy Hirshberg, vice president of Stonyfield's Natural Resources department.
 Quoting: JADR



I've been to the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Nice town. The University is smack dab in the middle of the town. They cut holes in the sides of cows and put a rubber stopper in the hole. Then they let the cows eat, unplug the stopper and reach down into the cows stomachs to get samples.

One day, one of the cows popped its stopper. It was a brilliant sunny day and I still remember that green, undigested grass running out of the hole.

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