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SBIR Phase I: Novel Probiotic-Based Feed Additive Formulation for Enteric Methane Mitigation
Phone: (512) 574-4790
Phone: (512) 574-4790
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project will be to develop an affordable, easy-to-use, novel feed additive formulation for dairy cows that will result in reduced enteric methane production while providing financial benefits for producers. Methane is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gases and the raising of ruminant animals is a significant source. Methane is not only burdensome to the environment, it is also wasteful to the dairy industry because its formation in animal digestive systems creates a 10% loss in potential energy for meat, milk, leather, or animal labor. As such, there is growing desire from consumers, advocates, and the dairy industry to produce a more environmentally friendly product. Preliminary results of incorporating this novel feed additive formulation point towards an additional $20 of income per head from the increase in feed efficiency, along with a 50% decrease in enteric methane formation. This SBIR Phase I project proposes to develop a novel probiotic that, when paired with nitrate, will reduce enteric methane emissions in dairy cows. The research plan will include four successive 28-day periods, with 21 days for diet adaptation and seven days for data and sample collection, to assess the effects of a nitrate and P. fortis formulation. The experiment will consist of a replicated 4 x 4 Latin square design. Eight ruminally-cannulated, mid-lactation multiparous Holstein cows will be assigned to one of two Latin squares and fed each of four diets over the four periods. After completion of this study, a more precise cost-benefit analysis will be performed with the resulting data, which will include milk yields, nitrogen balance, metabolic data, and methane outputs. In addition, the plan is to examine the rumen microbiome via sequencing to better understand the mode of action. In conjunction with the product manufacturing cost, this data will be used to determine the feasibility of this product. Cost savings are expected from producing a more environmentally friendly dairy, a reduction in foodborne pathogens, a decrease in morbidity/mortality, and an increase in feed efficiency. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *