Penn State's greenhouse gas solution: cow beano

Now if they could only provide a solution for Mannian emissions, they’d really have something. It does seem better though than the Bovine Fish Oil Methane Cure and certainly less ridiculous than Climate idiocy at the Monterey Bay Aquarium – cow with a gas mask.

From Penn State press: Unusual feed supplement could ease greenhouse gassy cows

University Park, Pa. — Cow belches, a major source of greenhouse gases, could be decreased by an unusual feed supplement developed by a Penn State dairy scientist.

In a series of laboratory experiments and a live animal test, an oregano-based supplement not only decreased methane emissions in dairy cows by 40 percent, but also improved milk production, according to Alexander Hristov, an associate professor of dairy nutrition.

The natural methane-reduction supplement could lead to a cleaner environment and more productive dairy operations.

“Cattle are actually a major producer of methane gas and methane is a significant greenhouse gas,” Hristov said. “In fact, worldwide, livestock emits 37 percent of anthropogenic methane.”

Anthropegenic methane is methane produced by human activities, such as agriculture.

Compared to carbon dioxide, methane has 23 times the potential to create global warming, Hristov said. The Environmental Protection Agency bases the global warming potential of methane on the gas’s absorption of infrared radiation, the spectral location of its absorbing wavelengths and the length of time methane remains in the atmosphere.

Methane production is a natural part of the digestive process of cows and other ruminants, such as bison, sheep and goats. When the cow digests food, bacteria in the rumen, the largest of the four-chambered stomach, break the material down intro nutrients in a fermentation process. Two of the byproducts of this fermentation are carbon dioxide and methane.

“Any cut in the methane emissions would be beneficial,” Hristov said.

Experiments revealed another benefit of the gas-reducing supplement. It increased daily milk production by nearly three pounds of milk for each cow during the trials. The researcher anticipated the higher milk productivity from the herd.

“Since methane production is an energy loss for the animal, this isn’t really a surprise,” Hristov said. “If you decrease energy loss, the cows can use that energy for other processes, such as making milk.”

Hristov said that finding a natural solution for methane reduction in cattle has taken him approximately six years. Natural methane reduction measures are preferable to current treatments, such as feed antibiotics.

Hristov first screened hundreds of essential oils, plants and various compounds in the laboratory before arriving at oregano as a possible solution. During the experiments, oregano consistently reduced methane without demonstrating any negative effects.

Following the laboratory experiments, Hristov conducted an experiment to study the effects of oregano on lactating cows at Penn State’s dairy barns. He is currently conducting follow-up animal trials to verify the early findings and to further isolate specific compounds involved in the suppression of methane.

Hristov said that some compounds that are found in oregano, including carvacrol, geraniol and thymol, seem to play a more significant role in methane suppression. Identifying the active compounds is important because pure compounds are easier to produce commercially and more economical for farmers to use.

“If the follow-up trials are successful, we will keep trying to identify the active compounds in oregano to produce purer products,” said Hristov.

Hristov has filed a provisional patent for this work.

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96 thoughts on “Penn State's greenhouse gas solution: cow beano

  1. So, can they make a variant of that to drop into a volcano?
    Since they’re soooooo concerned about methane getting into the atmospheric.

  2. Well if its anything like the Clinton-imposed “summer gasoline blend supplement”, let me guess: there’s only one legal supplier of the magical cow feed enhancer and it’ll take the price of beef up 50%…..

  3. an oregano-based supplement not only decreased methane emissions in dairy cows by 40 percent, but also improved milk production
    Of course it’s deep green in color so they are thinking about shipping it all to Ireland.
    Hey, just kidding. They’re actually going to use it to make more cheese – – – opps, maybe not.
    Hristov has filed a provisional patent for this work.
    I just can help wondering what that’s being filed under????

  4. On second thought, it’s probably not a bad idea, unless it messes with the availability of decent Italian food.

  5. I like that OREGANO addition: Meat for barbecueing will come already seasoned with oregano!
    The most stupid/intelligent invention of the year!

  6. New Zealand is investing heavily in methane reduction of ruminants, and will include agricultural methane emissions in the next phase of the ETS.

  7. Hmmm..instead of methane cows will “exhale” back CO (carbon monoxide)
    2CH4+ 3O2= 2CO+ 4H2O
    Though, this being a complete combustion, cows will throw out flames!, as in the picture above.
    We could fix it by attaching a flexible exaust tube, connected to a compressor:
    CO + H2O = H2CO3 Carbonic Acid, for your favorite beverage!
    And, if attached to a flask containing Soda Ash:
    CO+H2O+NaCO3=NaHCO3 (Baking Soda!) +H°

  8. So those huge herds of bison that once swarmed the Great Plains up through the 19th century were natural emitters of methane but now that they’ve been replaced by cows, the same methane emissions are anthropogenic.
    Right.

  9. …but, as nature compensates everything, humans, or more specifically, global warmers will begin farting methane instead of rotten eggs gas (H2S).

  10. Long before there were domesticated herds, there were wild herds.
    Then came some miseducated types that eyed the herds.
    Lost in the thinking is the energy that is transformed by photosynthesis (sunshine supplied) to feed the cow who releases the energy from the sun in a different form. That methane is simply the carrier, not the origin, of the heat energy from the sun.
    The smart herder collects the methane and uses it to power the business.
    The dumb & dumberers don’t know a gift horse when they see one, and proceed to kick it in the teeth.

  11. Problem is, they are no less gassy, nor more numerous, than the buffalo once were. So no, they are not a major source of increased methane production.

  12. Some of this research sounds a bit tentative:
    In a small group of cows that ate food seasoned with the herb, methane emissions declined by 40 percent – though Hristov cautioned that he must repeat the experiment to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.
    […]
    Hristov said he had already applied for a patent on this odd dietary supplement, in case the early findings from the dairy barn hold up.
    Sounds a bit dotcom-esque: patent first, then produce the results.
    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Researchers+alter+diets+help+environment/3418500/story.html

  13. Hahahaha!!
    Pizza cows!! Penn (alism) State University`s Mann made Pizza Cows! Is anyone taking this madness serious anymore??

  14. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”
    Then they just make stuff up to justify their jobs.
    The whole world is indebted to you for your strength Mr. Watts.

  15. Why buying natural gas then for the next winter?, just get a few cows and you´ll get the gas you need for heating and milk as a bonus!

  16. Cow Beano for feeder cattle ranching is a great idea — downwind property values should pick-up nicely.
    Thanks for the laugh!!!
    Note: after reading the article, 3lbs of additional milk per cow and a dairy farmer who misses a milking makes for a very noisy event. A whole new Mannian utterance of need?

  17. Global Warming/Climate Change/The XXX massaged prophet, all a big, big Joke…
    Time to change the story buddies!

  18. Well at least it’s kept the lab staff employed for the last six years! And now there’s a patent in the offing, wow, Monsanto will be keen to corner that market, then lobby gummint to make it a mandatory cow feed. Imagine the $$$$$$$$.
    Ain’t this AGW scam a wonderful thing?

  19. Researcher: “Lessee here… do I give the cows the cannabis and use the oregano on my lunch or do I give the cows the oregano and sprinkle the cannabis on my lunch? What to do, what to do….”

  20. John from CA says:
    September 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm
    sorry Anthony, last sentence should read:
    A whole Grade A udderance when the Mannian cash cow runs dry.

  21. If they add red wine to that oregano supplement, I just might be convinced to stop whining about warmers. The meat will already be marinated and the wine supplement will cause the milk volume to double (it did me when I was nursing).

  22. Having been around dairy ops some, what does the Oregano do to the flavor of the milk?
    Oregano is a good natural antibiotic, as I understand? Might make great Mozzarella?…

  23. Bah, this topic is older than the hills! Producers have used the antibiotic Monensin for years to inhibit methane production & boost feed conversion rates.
    Methane production is counterproductive in animal husbandry, since the methane represents feed energy that has been lost & otherwise would have gone towards contributing to the animal’s growth. The AGW broo-hah is only very recent, see:
    http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/73/8/2483.pdf
    Various growth-boosting nutraceuticals have been suggested over the years, but I’ve never heard of any that actually worked. I guess I better dust off my old grad-school notebooks…a cow is, after all, just a walking fermenter.

  24. I can already foresee the next logical step: The USDA requiring oregano enrichment of milk supplied in the school lunch programs (there will already be some oregano in the milk anyway). Hey, it could have a beneficial side effect — quieter classrooms.

  25. >”Problem is, they are no less gassy, nor more numerous, than the buffalo once were.”
    Let’s check that (the numbers part) …estimated bison population of precolumbian north america ~ 50,000,000
    Current estimated number of cows:
    96,669,000 cows in US
    13,945,000 cows in Cannada
    That’s more than twice as many cows (now) than there ever were bison in their home range of Cannada and the US.
    Here are three counties that never had bison or buffalo, but they now have this many cows:
    Brazil: 187,087,000
    Argentina: 51,062,000
    Australia: 29,202,000
    That’s roughly 7.5 times more cows than there ever were bison in 5 countries alone.
    http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/NorthAmerica/Facts/fact-bison.cfm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle

  26. Has anybody asked the cows (and bulls) how they feel about this idea? It just may be important in terms of reproduction – a bovine aphrodisiac perhaps. Suppose they succeed in reducing methane and it leads to a dramatic drop in herd sizes. The cost of steak and burgers would necessarily skyrocket! And it would impact milk as well. And ice cream. Little childrens ice cream. These people are monsters, I tell you! Monsters!

  27. Anthony:
    You’ll have to start the “Stupidest AGW Idea of the Week” post. The University of Calgary (shooting silica nano particles into space) and the University of Pennsylvania (preventing bovine flatulence) are in the running this week.
    Where do they come up with this stuff? It would be sad if they were serious. That’s IT! We’re all being pranked by acedemia.

  28. Pamela Gray says:
    September 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm
    You have to consider that the people who are proposing such measures probably have never been to a farm, and think food comes from magic factories that supply the supermarkets.

  29. There used to be a lot more termites and locusts, and in terms of biomass I’d guess comparable to cattle today.

  30. #
    Pamela Gray says:
    September 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm
    Problem is, they are no less gassy, nor more numerous, than the buffalo once were. So no, they are not a major source of increased methane production.
    #
    But the buffalo produced good methane. Man derives benefit from cows, so it is bad methane. We are just an evil species that perverts everything we touch so that once natural processes, blessed by Gaia, become twisted and destructive when enslaved to serve mankind. They should have been covering this in your re-education classes, or have you been ditching?
    On a serious note, any idea how much methane is produced by the average wetland? Its been awhile since I played with estuaries, but I seem to remember that they produced a lot, along with a bit of hydrogen sulphide.

  31. Rice paddies are likely the source of the increase in methane. And it still constitutes such a minor percentage of the atmosphere that it could increase a hundred times and be of no or little consequence. There are some things that just do not bear concern.

  32. Pound for pound, 1 bison bull or cow equals two bovine bulls or cows. As for forage, a bison will eat just about anything that pokes out of the ground, to the ground, while cows are far more selective and will not eat down to the dirt. If you put an equal number of cows in one pasture, and Amercian bison in the other, trust me, the bison will out eat and out f*rt the domestic cow plus will jump the fence and eat what the cow will not. So let’s not get into cows being such a drag on the environment, K? For those of you who get your stats out of books instead of live where bison are raised, you are getting information completely colored by whatever view is being sold at the time.
    There is no statistical difference between current methane levels produced by bovines, compared to what bison blew out of their behind at their peak numbers. And anybody who says different absolutely cannot have been raised on a farm.

  33. I remember when the Universities were studying and applying patents for adding animal protein supplements to cow feed. We all know how that turned out. Yes, the cows were bigger and fatter. Trouble was they were “madder” too. Why not just let cows eat grass? Why do we need 3000 lb cows that don’t fart and squirt milk by the bucket loads? It just seems that whenever we try to outdo mother nature, she bites us in the ass.

  34. Yuba, are you telling us that Central and South America had no ruminates at the peak of the North American bison population? By the way, bison ranged into northern Mexico.

  35. Actually more cow methane is released in their burps than in their farts.
    Now where could I find some stats from “where bison are raised?” And how can I be sure *they* are not being colored by whatever is being sold at the time? And how does being raised on a farm endow one with statistically significant knowledge of the volume of pre-Columbian bison methane (gross total)?

  36. Well I am reminded and thankful for those here at WUWT who have made every heifer-t to warn us that a grand minimum may be upon us and “chew cud imagine a situation where it is udderly freisian out.” (tallbloke)

  37. Oh no Pamela I am not. I am merely pointing out that your original statement: “Problem is, they are no less gassy, nor more numerous, than the buffalo once were. So no, they are not a major source of increased methane production.” Is in error and is off by at least a factor of three (even using your fudge factor of 1 bison=2 cattle).
    Since you are moving your goalposts now to ruminants, please look at how many of them have been domesticated. If you want to argue that there are the same number now that there were predomestication, go ahead – but please cite more substantial evidence “raised with bulls” to back up your story. Please also include how much land has been cleared in the last couple centuries for rangeland and also the impact of irrigation has had on growing fodder in your explanation.

  38. Yuba Yollabolly
    September 7, 2010 at 8:11 pm
    The digestion of bison and cattle are identical. The amount of methane produced is directly proportional to the amount of food they digest. So an animal that consumes twice as much forage, will produce twice as much methane. Free ranging animals also consume more then their pastured brethren because of the courser nature of their diet. Knowledge of cattle is directly applicable to bison. Also it does not matter what end the methane issues from. It was produced by the same process. It is just funnier to talk about cow farts. BTW, bison are raised for meat.
    The process that produces methane in a cow is the same that produces methane in a wetland. There is a hell of a lot more vegetation being digested by bacteria in wetlands then inside of cows.

  39. Now that milk is a hazardous substance, will the cost of the new super containment unit needed for the extra milk production be offset by the carbon credits for lower bovine emissions?

  40. pat
    September 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm
    Rice paddies are likely the source of the increase in methane. And it still constitutes such a minor percentage of the atmosphere that it could increase a hundred times and be of no or little consequence. There are some things that just do not bear concern.
    #
    It makes me cry to think of all of that land in the Sacramento delta that once produced natural methane, now producing evil anthropogenic methane from rice production.

  41. Anthony, this post is a hoot, as are many of the comments. Family medical needs or not (and I hope all is going well), you seem to continue to have a jolly good time with your blog. I noticed that Yuba Yollabolly (6:59 pm) — there is a new one born every second — had to go letter-of-the-law and assume that the land used by cattle today only belonged to bison in the past. (In psychoanalysis we call this concrete thinking.) How about all the herds of elk, deer, and other farting ruminants? I think the new saying should be “back to nature” with these, uh, er, are they mutants? Have they lost their human DNA? Have they lost all DNA? Are they alien invaders? Penn State, you say. Is there something strange eminating from those intellectually dark corridors?

  42. To celebrate and embrace this new technology tonight I prepared my farm fresh lamb chops in a swaddle of oregano. Tomorrow night I shall again bring out the oregano, this time to season my broiled narwal ribs – the other white meat.

  43. Stanwilli says:
    September 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm
    “Where do they come up with this stuff? It would be sad if they were serious. That’s IT! We’re all being pranked by acedemia.”
    Sadly Stan, we’re not being punked. Most really do take it seriously. At work we joked about applying for a huge grant to locate the bovine flatus gene, and then realized it might actually get funded.

  44. It is unfortunate that a sensible bit of research into feed supplements that improve the biologic productivity of cattle has been tarred by the AGW silliness.
    The idea that some inexpensive additive could yield significant food conversion efficiency gains is well worth pursuing. A 40% methane reduction does suggest a material shift in the digestion process. As cows are spectacularly effective bio-processors, able to make meat and milk even on a diet of newsprint flavored with urea, there is probably a considerable amount of additional improvement that could be achieved once we understand the process better. This research is a small step in that direction and should be praised, rather than ridiculed.
    The brickbats should be directed at the Penn State press department, which focused on the AGW angle from the methane reduction rather than on the productivity increase.

  45. If memory serves it is termites mounds that are the methane problem so maybe this will work for that two. Anyone want to join my in seeking a grant to study this. Side benefit termite mounds tend to occur in warm places and I think this will be one cold winter here in Alberta.

  46. “It increased daily milk production by nearly three pounds of milk for each cow during the trials.”
    Is this more milk, or just a greater density of fat products within the milk?

  47. DesertYote
    Since I am from Hawaii, and we buy a great deal of that rice, indeed the Calrose seed is raised here, I am extremely grateful for the California rice crop. We do not eat much long grain here. So we love the Calrose medium.
    Unfortunately, between nutty politicians and judges, it is likely California will abandon agriculture in the foreseeable , if not near future. As you are shedding industry. Apparently you all believe that you can live on cow farts from adjoining States and leftist blather.

  48. Or they could just make the cow-pats explode in sunlight;
    Australian scientists have developed a way to better distribute cattle dung over pasture land. According to a trade journal there, “A slow release pellet of photo reactive gallium-arsenide-3” is fed to the cow and finds
    its way through the digestive tract and into the animal’s dung. Then, when an offending cow plop is exposed to the ultraviolet rays of sunlight, it explodes.
    “An initial increase in dung production is noted,” the journal reports, “but the animals are soon conditioned to the noise of exploding pads”
    http://www2b.abc.net.au/science/k2/stn/archives/archive56/newposts/585/topic585050.shtm

  49. Gallium arsenide? So let us mix one of the most costly metals on earth with a common deadly metal and feed animals with it. Oh. And a bonus. Together they are a dangerous chemical that makes our usual liberal screaming-in-fear (Alar, DDT, etc.) compounds seem like chocolate candy. You like cancer? check. lung disease? check. How about sterility and birth defects? check. Kill termites and roaches? check. Hmmm. Let us try a taste test with that with the pea-brained Warmists who came up with idea.

  50. It’s entertaining reading the many humourous comments. On a serious note, bovine don’t produce methane out of thin air (no pun). They eat the carbon sequestered in the grass, then belch and fart some of it out as methane and the cycle keeps going.
    I’d like to know if there are any studies out there which quantify the net balance of consumption and emission.
    Back to the lighter note, I wouldn’t upset these bovines, they may take up arms as in this little gem.

  51. This research has important implications for controlling the spread of Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE). It is a real pity when research is viewed solely in terms of how it can be used to mitigate AGW and thus turned into a joke.

  52. Increased milk and meat yields? Definetly worth more study to rule it in or rule it out.
    In addition to it being a shame to see a potentially interesting agra story needing to resort to AGW barking, which doesn’t help first impressions, this would potentially by a relevant health story. Would this result in a significant reduction in feed antibiotic use if it proved to be an option? Are these the types of antibiotics uses in the industry that we hear about that foster antibiotic resisant bacteria? For all I know those questions could have no bearing on the story, but who knows after you have to shovel through so much climate change.
    Potentially a great science story shaping up but definetly a poor AGW story.
    Increased yields will sell this product if it’s all it claims to be (I have my doubts), not greenhouse gas considerations. In the meantime, who knows how the high priests of AGW will react to this, they seem to have a real aversion to unscripted solutions. I’m guessing they won’t embrace the idea that we can feed that many more people beef or appreciate how such a discovery could raise the potential output of food to sustain a larger population. It’s discoveries like this is, or pretends to be, that make myth of the estimates of population overload. Or maybe they’ll be divided and turn on each other and draw ever more public attention to how they behave. Can always hope.
    Afterall, look how upset they are that nature evolved/evolves us and we served as a method for the planet to replace into the atmosphere the CO2 that was slipping into the planet’s surfaces. We’ve probably extended the amount of time plant life (and the oxygen it supplies) can possibly exist on our planet by millions of years. We should be proud.
    If only we could believe their claims that doing so ended the ice age we’ve been in the last however many million years.

  53. “Enneagram says:
    September 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm
    Hmmm..instead of methane cows will “exhale” back CO (carbon monoxide)
    2CH4+ 3O2= 2CO+ 4H2O…”
    And the CO oxidises to CO2 anyway. Has anyone done the comparison of greenhouse effect between 2 CH4 and 2 CO2 with 4 H2O? Is methane really 20 times greater?
    cheers david

  54. I seem to recall Yoko Ono making a pronouncement about cow farts several decades ago. I recall thinking she was a mad cow, long before BSE was a three letter acronym.

  55. Attempting to give an AGW spin to this story about sensible and possibly valuable research into increasing milk and meat yeilds from dairy cows has made it a laughing-stock. The university PR officer attempting to stay on-message with AGW is the problem, not the research or the researchers.

  56. I don’t wish to be a party pooper but by far the most methane is emitted by cows through their MOUTH. They belch a lot and in fact if prevented from belching as when suffering from frothy bloat they will blow up and die. The expanding stomach sqeezes the heart and also prevents the lungs inhaling. The animal suffocates.
    Of more interset is the fact that in Australia at least, most of our cattle are fattened on grass, that is free range. Some places run a cow per hundred acres so catching them to give them their daily dose of oregamo is a mite difficult.
    I also note that methane levels are not rising at the same rate as CO2 and have effectively plateaued. Since methane is so much more “dangerous” than that pollutant “CO2” and since between them, and with help from many natural forces, world temps have increased a half degree in 100 years is it realistic to worry at all. The researcher has just wasted 6 years and lots of taxpayers money.

  57. I do like the “Patent applied for” comment. Who would have thought that it was possible to patent feeding herbs to herbivores?
    I’m afraid that patents systems really are fubar if this “patent” is accepted.

  58. If I recall correctly (working from memory here), if you feed cows grass, rather than grains such as corn, their “emissions” are sharply reduced.

  59. etudiant says:
    September 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm
    It is unfortunate that a sensible bit of research into feed supplements that improve the biologic productivity of cattle has been tarred by the AGW silliness.
    The idea that some inexpensive additive could yield significant food conversion efficiency gains is well worth pursuing.

    Agreed. In addition, if this finding gives warmists “an outlet” to expend their pent-up energies on implementing, it’s all to the good. It should be part of a “no-regrets” suite of mitigation measures.

  60. Interesting. The giant food producers (Cargill, Tyson, Jenny-O, etc) have been using herbal supplements for years to increase the shelf-life of processed products (ground meat, sausage, etc). Natural alternatives to BHA and BHT. Therefore the ingredient label only has to say “spices and other natural ingredients”. My wife is a Senior product developer for one. The active ingredients in both oregano and rosemary work as antioxidants.They are looking at the wrong molecules. Apply for molecular patents all they want, the science is well known. I need to read the original paper to determine what other foodstuffs were in the feed. Alfalfa has many of the same materials, and if not in the feed, may negate the benefits. They may be able to apply for specific use patents. The molecules are in the flavone pathway. Some of the few known molecules that are both zwitterionic and emulsifiers. They also are genetic inducers of specific bacterial enzymes. I worked with flavonoids while on my master’s.

  61. Pamela Gray says: September 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm
    If they add red wine to that oregano supplement, I just might be convinced to stop whining about warmers. The meat will already be marinated and the wine supplement will cause the milk volume to double (it did me when I was nursing).

    Other than TMI, you are correct. In terms of naturally occurring flavonoids in modern food products (that are palatable), red wine has the highest percentage (blackberry wine actually, ugh) followed by brassicas. specie.

  62. “That’s more than twice as many cows (now) than there ever were bison in their home range of Cannada and the US.”
    Yes, but how many millions of deer, pronghorns, bighorn sheep etc were there?
    “Here are three counties that never had bison or buffalo, but they now have this many cows:
    Brazil: 187,087,000
    Argentina: 51,062,000
    Australia: 29,202,000”
    No, but before the indians/aborigines arrived there were countless millions of elephants, camelids, horses, giant sloths, giant kangaroos, giant vombats etc etc.

  63. <iLYuba Yollabolly says:
    September 7, 2010 at 6:59 pm
    Current estimated number of cows:
    96,669,000 cows in US
    13,945,000 cows in Cannada
    That’s more than twice as many cows (now) than there ever were bison in their home range of Cannada and the US.
    And the white-tailed deer population in the US alone is estimated at 30 million. I’m reasonably sure that number would have been higher during the paleolithic.
    Oh, and there’s only one “n” in Canada. 🙂

  64. Popular Facts About Methane, Youthane and Theythane –
    Compared to bison, etc., people are pikers.
    People who do not eat meat tend to methane the atmosphere more than those who do.
    Etamilcologists methane more than Meteorologists.
    Smokers methane less tha Non-Smokers.
    Dinosaurs methaned more than bison.
    The Great Impact that killed the Dinosaurs also burned a lot of methane.
    Broccoli eaters methane more than noodle eaters.
    Bean eaters methane more than broccoli eaters.
    Beer drinkers methane more than wine drinkers.
    Birth control reduces methane.
    Castration reduces methane.
    Coronal Mass Ejections directed at the Earth, if strong enough, can reduce methane.
    While people are not the only methane producers, they are the most at fault in an elevator.
    Pennsylvania, since the arrival of Dr. Mann, produces more methane than Virginia.

  65. Conclusion: It should be recommended CH4 should be turn into CH3OH (methanol) and flavor it with Kool-Aid to prepare a gentle beverage which will enable global warmers to levitate to the next plane of existence. 🙂

  66. andyscrase says:
    September 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm
    New Zealand is investing heavily in methane reduction of ruminants, and will include agricultural methane emissions in the next phase of the ETS.
    ____________________________________________________________
    Now you know why the World Trade Organization was so aggressive about governments mandating “Traceability” that is unique animal ID’s and farm ID’s world wide. (NAIS in the USA) I am sure once the USDA manages to force NAIS or its newest reincarnation down the throats of US farmers, despite the overwhelming (>90%) response against the idea, the next step is to implement a head tax on every animal in the world via “GHG reduction” laws.
    And now you know why the bureaucRATS have not been worried about the 11 million ‘phantom’ cattle in the database that do not exist according to the Australian Beef Association. The actual Australian cattle population is 27 million but the database registrations are about 38 million. http://english.fleischwirtschaft.de/news/pages/protected/Australian-Livestock-with-huge-phantom-numbers_7675.html
    Someone is going to get the tax bill for those 11 million cows and the government red tape (plus fee) to get rid of the phantoms will be so ridiculous that it is impossible to carry out correctly the first time. US farmers just went through that exercise trying to remove their farms from the NAIS Premises ID database. The USDA Opt-Out program just seems to put you into an “inactive file” but you do not necessarily get wiped from the data base. The data base was moved to Canada to avoid FOI requests. http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/rep-colin-peterson-for-us-or-against-us-is-he-is-or-is-he-aint/
    MORE INFO: http://www.vicfa.net/user%20guidezan.pdf

  67. it is an insult to people who actually work for a living that these get paid to sit around and come with this ridiculous cr*p

  68. Estimates in some of these comments for bison population in the Great Plains in the 1800’s seem low. The estimate I have heard is as many as 60,000,000.
    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/WWplains.htm
    Also:
    http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-buffalohunters.html
    That number was also supplied by Parks Canada at Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan. These herds were decimated by “hunters” who shot the buffalo from “hunting trains” in the late 1800’s. Buffalo Bill Cody and others were initially contracted by the railroad to kill buffalo as a source of fresh meat for the railroad workers. This morphed into the popular past time of killing the buffalo from the trains. The animals had no fear of humans at that time so kills of hundreds of buffalo a day were plentiful and easy. But after the animals were skinned for the pelts the rest of the carcases were left to rot on the prairie.
    It is estimated that 60 million were shot and the buffalo bones became an important source of phosphorous to make gun powder for WW 1.
    This effectively also ended the Plains Indian way of life since they relied on the buffalo for everything.
    Human intervention in nature is a recipe for disaster.

  69. Identifying the active compounds is important because pure compounds are easier to produce commercially and more economical for farmers to use.
    Oregano is one of the easiest plants in my herb garden. Seems like a farmer could easily plant this here and there in the pasture and let the cattle graze.

  70. Oregano as a feed supplement for cattle to stop methane emissions?
    During WWII meat stores sold beef from grass fed beef (no corn fattening). And people bought it because there were no ration points needed for it, not for the taste. Actaully the beef tasted like, well, grass. Also it was tough.
    I can imagine oregano would have the same effect. Imagine, they could call it Italian beef and even charge extra for it.

  71. Tommy says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm
    Oregano is one of the easiest plants in my herb garden. Seems like a farmer could easily plant this here and there in the pasture and let the cattle graze.

    If your herb garden is anything like mine, oregano is a problem! Spreads everywhere. I don’t think farmers need another herb weed. They have sage already ;~P

  72. Gail Combs September 8, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Now you know why the World Trade Organization was so aggressive about governments mandating “Traceability” that is unique animal ID’s and farm ID’s world wide. (NAIS in the USA) I am sure once the USDA manages to force NAIS or its newest reincarnation down the throats of US farmers

    Didn’t we just have a HUGE egg recall? Did we or didn’t we? And what may be next – maybe a beef or CHICKEN recall – and you are against “Traceability” of animals?
    No rationality, rhyme or reason.
    I was hoping I would see something substantive by yourself regarding the possible benefits of oregano in ‘cow’ diets – no kidding, I actually scanned the thread looking for those comments …
    .

  73. StanWilli says:
    September 8, 2010 at 11:36 am
    Human intervention in nature is a recipe for disaster.
    Please do not generalize..it’s rather a well known different ilk which share a common genetic code’s motivation: Making money without working at all.

  74. The problem is not what farmers feed cows, but what schools feed students .
    Social conservatives know children should eat what they are told—especially their vegetables, lest they end up as elitist Eastern RINO’s who refuse to eat their broccoli.
    That’s why God-fearing parents have been fighting to assure Greens a place at the table ever since the founding fathers emerged from the root cellars of New England. The heirloom vegetables that sustain us at tea parties coast to coast continue the tradition President Reagan began by adding that ancient Native American staple, ketchup, to the school lunch vegetable list. Just as America’s economy depends on sustaining our fossil fuel supply, education demands the inclusion of fossil vegetables in school lunch programs.
    Richer in fiber than corn flakes and higher in vital minerals and anti-bacterial phenols than milk, apples or Listerine, easily digested soft coals like lignite, abound in heritage greens like fiddleheads and ginkgo leaves. The explosion of healthy green algae in the Gulf of Mexico proves beyond a doubt that fossil fuels are too valuable and environmentally friendly a food source for educators to ignore. Beyond their obvious nutritional and cost benefits, these traditional vegetables leave warmists out in the cold by making the nations youth part of a bipartisan solution to the carbon sequestration problem. Thanks to liberal teacher’s unions, today’s pupils exhale over a pound of carbon dioxide a day, but if school lunch programs stop catering to illegal aliens with tacos, and replace liberal junk foods like tofu with crunchy conservative menus rich in culinary coal and peat , a new generation of carbon neutral students will win the hearts and minds of breadwinners from West Virginia to Wyoming.

  75. “Yes, but how many millions of deer, pronghorns, bighorn sheep etc were there?”
    You tell me. BTW there is considerable evidence that American (both north and south) indigenous peoples started fires to intentionally increase grasslands for hunting. The book “1491” is interesting reading, although admittedly some of their points are better supported than others.
    “No, but before the indians/aborigines arrived there were countless millions of elephants, camelids, horses, giant sloths, giant kangaroos, giant vombats etc etc.”
    The issue here is really ruminants (even Pamela understood that) so although what you say is more or less true you have to cross elephants, horses, giant sloths, giant kangaroos and the all so popular but mythical giant vombat off your list. Since I mentioned cattle from Argentina we could add llamas, alpacas and vacunas (the camelids you mentioned) to the discussion though. Since at least 2 of those 3 have been domesticated I wouldn’t be surprised to find that their numbers have also increased.

  76. This is a tempest in a teapot as the concentration of methane is relatively steady and even slowly declining, meaning that its effect has been relatively constant. Furthermore, the slight decline may cancel out any effect that rising CO2 might have, making the whole question of “greenhouse” gases a wash and leaving water vapor in control of the climate.
    Of course, we have to remember that methane is in parts per billion while CO2 is in parts per million. It is not as abundant by far, regardless of it being supposedly a superior “greenhouse” gas. AND, do not forget that methane has not been increasing and only appears to rise when a volcano burps. I guess next they will insist that we cork all volcanoes – there’s a job others can have.
    We have to remember that there used be veritable hordes of grazing animals all across the continents, all creating methane. Methane by man has been decreasing as we have improved our handling and control methods. The projection that melting permafrost regions would release a burst of methane has proven false as the awakening biomass quickly becomes a carbon sink as it begins to actively metabolize; and it would appear that the projected melting is not happening.

  77. Yuba, I have not found a single farmer who as actually cleared rangeland to turn it into…rangeland. I know I haven’t. We leave everything there: trees, rocks, brush, and wee little forest creatures.
    Interesting story about rangeland. Wallowa County used to have big horns and mountain goats. They got hunted out. Yes, we bad. Then came domesticated sheep and goats. They meandered through rangeland. But the BLM kicked them out a few decades ago by either forcing them to pay for the privilege of grazing, or just flat out forcing them to leave. Guess what happened. Underbrush got out of control (these kinds of animals like brush). So the BLM started a very expensive spraying program to control underbrush. Then someone in the department got the bright idea of paying sheep herders to keep their flock on rangeland overrun with underbrush.
    Gotta love it.

  78. It looks like this question has been ruminated over by others.
    30 mil bison produced 2.2 Tg CH4 per year. 36 mil bovine produced 2.5. Granted, this is a mathematically modeled value so should be taken with a grain of salt and a rather large standard deviation. But still, bison are way harder on rangeland ground cover than cows are. There is a bison ranch on Hwy 3 in Wallowa County and we have some escaped bison that roam the county from time to time.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V8W-4Y1MS5T-1&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F15%2F2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1455227783&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=49418b1afb3d3f714aedf3ab91394525&searchtype=a

  79. The principle of unintended consequences on feeding cows oregano was not considered by the University. If the addition of oregano decreases cow burps and increases milk production, then dairy farmers will be able to buy more cows. In addition, since cows are also major sources of meat, the meat prices will go down and more meat will be consumed. Now when I eat meat I produce methane and when I cook the meat I produce CO2. I really like steaks. If I am typical, then those segments of the population who consume meat are producing methane and CO2 .Since people consume about 8 oz of meat per day which represents a 1/2000 of the total weight of a cow, it clear that the major culprits of methane and CO2 production are meat eating people. I smell an opportunity to obtain a juicy research grant from PETA to measure the monthly quantity of methane gas released by meat eating humans. I expect that this number will exceed all the cows and other ruminants. I plan to seek a supplementary grant for support to measure monthly CO2 production by humans. Maybe the real source of a global warming has been overlooked by IPCC, it is the human population explosion.

  80. Corky Boyd, have you ever actually tasted grass? I grew up on grass-fed beef and sheepmeats, plus occasional rabbits, venison and goat meat. I know that when dairy farmers use crops such as choumolia (sp?) the milk tastes a bit ‘strong’, but I have never detected a similarity between grass and any meat that was raised on it.
    I enjoy grass-fed meat, but I suspect grass itself is an acquired taste.

  81. Yuba Yollabolly says:
    September 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Interesting numbers. But it all points out one critical thing. The amount we do not know concerning AGW far exceeds what we do know. Clearly, the explosion of rumminants in the past 2 centuries has had a much greater percentage impact on AGW than the “blowing of smoke” that puny humans do.

  82. I guarantee you will taste the oregano in the milk. Back when milk was local, it would taste ‘funny’ at a restaurant in another part of the country, because of the difference in vegetation the cattle fed on.

  83. If it improves the milk production, go for it. As for bovine methane production, this has always been a triviality beneath the notice of anyone interested in climate change.

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