Cargill Technology Application Center: leading innovation in methane emissions reduction in China

April 19, 2024, China: Agriculture continues to be called upon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What is the key to achieving and supporting this collective mission? Innovation. Innovation drives the industry’s ability to successfully achieve sustainability goals, including reducing methane emissions. But to be successful, digital technologies, feed additives, nutritional strategies, farm management and more must work together in partnership.

Innovation is a key pillar in Reach4Reduction™ – Cargill Animal Nutrition and Health’s (ANH) ruminant emissions reduction platform – which works with farmers around the world to develop sustainability plans and implement solutions to support their sustainability journey . At Cargill, we research feed additives, technologies and strategies that help farmers increase productivity and reduce emissions.

Cargill’s Technology Application Center (TAC) in Bazhou, China, is a dairy research facility that plays a key role in Cargill’s strategy to reduce ruminant methane emissions and is a leader in sustainability innovation. The China TAC evaluates various technologies, additives, nutrition strategies and digital solutions to measure and understand their impact on methane reduction. With a vision to design the future, demonstrate success and deliver on the promise of methane emissions reduction, China Dairy TAC leverages partnerships and third-party validation to test feed additives, technologies, feeding programs and software, to deliver solutions and China industry standards for methane emissions.

Building industry-leading partnerships

In 2022, Cargill’s China TAC developed a partnership with China Agricultural University (CAU), a university that has established modern and advanced agricultural education in China. Today, after years of development, CAU is an accredited multi-scientific research university based in biological and agricultural engineering.

Together, CAU and Cargill’s China TAC developed a plan, called the Carbon Reduction Project, to support China’s carbon reduction targets set in September 2020, including carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. The project aims to shape the future of sustainable agriculture to design. , demonstrate success and deliver on the commitment to reduce carbon emissions by leveraging Cargill’s global and local capabilities, experience and connections, together with CAU’s resources, to develop and explore promising emissions reduction solutions .

Working together for success

As a first step and in collaboration with Professor Li, the Chinese dairy industry’s chief nutritionist, Cargill’s China TAC and CAU teams are evaluating the impact of multiple ingredients and additives on methane emissions in Professor Li’s laboratory. This includes measuring the amount of methane produced in the rumen for each feed ingredient and testing numerous additives for their ability to impact methane emissions reduction. Additives range from probiotics and phytogens to substances that divert hydrogen in the rumen, and seaweed that can block the process of methanogenesis.

Once each additive’s impact on methane reduction has been measured and understood in the laboratory, the next step is to validate their collective ability to reduce methane emissions on the farm. The collaboration between Cargill and CAU resulted in robust methodologies that enable the measurement of individual feed intake and methane emissions from cows. This allowed for the research and validation of the effects of different technologies on cow performance, nutrient use and methane production. For example, Cargill ANH used C-Lock’s GreenFeed machines to validate that SilvAir™, Cargill’s methane emissions reduction solution, can reduce methane emissions from dairy cows by up to 10% when incorporated into feed.

Development of Chinese standards for methane emissions

Together, China TAC and CAU will use these technologies in a study on dairy farms to test multiple solutions that work together with the goal of reducing methane emissions by 20%. The study will apply multiple solutions such as low-carbon raw materials, technologies, additives and feeding strategies simultaneously to achieve and maintain a 20% CO2 reduction on a pilot farm on a dairy farm. The first study of its kind aims to demonstrate how different solutions, when applied together, can reduce and achieve sustainable emissions reductions (up to 20%) on farm.

Using these technologies and research findings, the TAC, CAU and Professor Li will analyze and evaluate the results to transform methane emission standards in China. This is particularly important because the TAC and CAU will deliver:

  • The carbon emission standard for each ingredient in China – Understanding the base carbon emissions generated by each ingredient in animal feed. The insights will strengthen Cargill’s global ingredient sourcing database, as part of Cargill Nutrition System (CNS) – which provides real-time nutritional analysis of feed ingredients.
  • The Chinese life cycle assessment (LCA) tools for dairy farms – In general, an LCA is a tool to assess the potential environmental impacts throughout the lifespan of a dairy cow. CAU and Cargill will outline the tools needed to assess the environmental impact of dairy cattle in China, including methane emissions.

On March 8, 2024, almost a year and a half after the start of the collaboration, China Agricultural University released a whitepaper entitled ‘Whitepaper on China Dairy in Low Carbon’, with TAC as co-author, contributing our insight and solutions . This includes the effectiveness of the solution in vitro and in vivo, the landscape of solutions for methane emissions reduction in the dairy sector, and more from the laboratory and controlled research on methane emissions reduction on dairy farms.

Innovating for the future of methane emissions reduction

Innovation requires partnership and collaboration across the sector. And at Cargill we know that a one-size-fits-all solution will not be enough to reduce methane emissions. Working with key stakeholders such as China Agricultural University and Professor Li, Cargill’s China Technology Application Center keeps Chinese farmers – and the livestock industry as a whole – at the forefront of new strategies and innovations to answer the call to reduce methane emissions now and in the future. the future.

When you work with Cargill, you get a partner that meets your sustainability solution needs and achieves your company’s goals. Contact your Cargill representative for more information.

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(Follow Krishak Jagat on Google News for latest agriculture news and updates)