The Importance of Cost-effectively Scaling Climate-Smart Farming Practices

By CH4 Global
March 25, 2024

Farming accounts for about a third of the world’s carbon emissions, and about one-tenth of the United States’ emissions.  It’s no wonder the COP28 climate negotiations acknowledged the role that agriculture, specifically livestock, plays in climate change. This acknowledgement, coupled with the release of a landmark roadmap by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has created significant momentum for solutions targeting methane in agriculture. At the same time, recognizing the huge opportunity to meaningfully reduce these emissions, more governments are putting forth groundbreaking legislation.

Deregulation and funding are key

One example is the Innovative FEED Act, which aims to streamline the regulatory approval process in the US for certain animal-feed additives. Complementing this is an unprecedented level of funding – such as via the Inflation Reduction Act – directed at making the agriculture sector more sustainable.

The Innovative FEED Act promises a move toward deregulation, simplifying the path for innovative animal-feed ingredients and additives – such as Methane Tamer™, our seaweed-based cattle feed supplement – to reach the US market. If used to introduce our feed supplement in the US, this Act will expedite our ability to provide American farmers a way to dramatically reduce enteric methane.

In fact, the California Air Resources Board believes feed additives could help the state reach its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030. This is critical in light of the fact that the US cattle industry has committed to being climate neutral by 2040. Moreover, in the process, farmers can strengthen their competitiveness in the global market for beef and dairy products.

Asparagopsis-based feed additives stand out

A solution such as ours is one groundbreaking method for reducing livestock methane emissions by targeting enteric fermentation (i.e., cow burps). In fact, as this article highlights, it is one of three innovations that “stand out for their ability to scale up quickly and pay off economically.” We couldn’t agree more – and fully understand the importance of empowering farmers to cost-effectively impact climate change at scale with urgency.

The star ingredient in our feed additive is Asparagopsis, scientifically proven to reduce enteric methane emissions by up to 90%. In fact, unlike others, our proprietary methane-reducing feed formulation is a natural product that includes the entire Asparagopsis plant. In other words, it is not a synthetic replication of only one of the active ingredients or an extract from Asparagopsis. This is critical, since Bromoform alone does not enable up to 90% reduction in methane emissions unless you significantly increase the amount well beyond what’s in Asparagopsis

 As a result, CH4 Global’s specially formulated feed additive provides cattle all the benefits associated with this seaweed.

And that’s important, since some solutions aimed at the agricultural sector are being rolled out without a full understanding of their effectiveness. This underscores the critical role of NGOs and third-party verification in ensuring companies are not resorting to greenwashing in their claims.

Cost-effective, scalable production matters

Since it’s not feasible to profitably grow Asparagopsis at scale in the ocean, we’ve developed a proprietary land-based production system. Our system is significantly more efficient than other approaches to growing seaweed. Specifically, our COGS are multiple-times lower than others in this space…making it possible for farmers to realize a positive return on their investment in Methane Tamer. And, once completed in 2024, our Louth Bay EcoPark will grow and process enough Asparagopsis seaweed to supply up to 30,000 cattle per day in Australia and overseas.

So does easy integration…

Three key factors in the adoption of feed additives are the ease of integrating them, stability, and palatability. Our feed additive is easily integrated into feedlot operations, due to its tailored form, palatability, and superior-quality Asparagopsis and other natural ingredients. Moreover, Methane Tamer efficacy is shelf stable for six months from manufacture date. That means it maintains stable Bromoform levels for those six months. And because it’s palatable, cows eat it, enabling the additive to deliver on its promise to reduce methane emissions.

The real proof is in the market: We’ve already made the first commercial delivery of Methane Tamer. Combine this with being named one of America’s Top GreenTech Companies by TIME magazine, and you get strong validation for our pioneering solutions and their potential to help farmers meaningfully and immediately bend the climate curve.

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