Reducing the environmental impact of dairying

As well as offering milk production and fertility benefits, a unique feed comprising omega-3 fatty acids can also help to reduce methane emissions from dairy cows. Adding ForFarmers’ high omega-3 fatty acid Lintec to cow rations has recently been validated by the Carbon Trust.

Cows at Mysercough College Lintec 720

With growing pressure, both inside and outside the industry, for producers to help reduce the environmental impact of their dairy businesses, the use of Lintec offers a relatively straightforward and immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What is Lintec and how does it work?

Lintec is made from a specific variety of linseed that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids. It is thermo extruded to produce a highly digestible feed, which is also high in energy and protein.

The feed product has traditionally been added to rations to support cow fertility because it helps to inhibit prostaglandin production and increase cows’ progesterone levels, as well as boosting their health by reducing the acid load in the rumen.

But the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the feed also help to increase cows’ feed efficiency by lowering levels of saturated fatty acids and subsequently reducing the amount of energy wasted in the rumen. This not only supports milk production, but also offers an environmental benefit because the ‘wasted’ rumen energy that Lintec helps to suppress would otherwise turn into methane.

How effective is it?

The Carbon Trust is an international climate change and sustainability consultancy and, having reviewed seven scientific publications, it has stated that the correct use of Lintec can help significantly reduce methane emissions in dairy cows.

This has been supported by recent research published in September 2021 by the European Federation of Animal Science, which shows that adding Lintec to rations, at a rate of 1kg/cow/day, can reduce methane emissions by 17.5%.

The feed product not only offers producers a quick and relatively easy way to decrease methane emissions from their dairy herds, but also does this while supporting production, health and fertility performance.