An Australian climate technology company has commenced two safety and efficacy trials of its methane-reducing feed supplements in New Zealand.
Using different measuring methodologies, the trials – one on beef cattle and one on dairy cattle – seek to test Rumin8’s product integration in the New Zealand pasture-based systems.
Rumin8 identifies naturally occurring compounds that have anti-methanogenic properties, but instead of harvesting and extracting them from plants, is able to reproduce them in a highly efficient, low cost, scalable, and high-quality process to feed to livestock in order to reduce their emissions.
The beef trial is utilising a methane measuring facility, which provides continuous measurements over 48 hours, while the dairy trial utilises Greenfeed systems which measure methane emissions throughout the duration of the trial taking short burst measurements throughout the day, the company said.
The first trial is a dose-response trial run by DairyNZ in Hamilton. Lactating dairy cows on a pasture based diet will be offered the methane-reducing feed supplement three times a day over 45 to investigate the methane reduction potential in a pasture-based system.
The beef trial, using dairy-beef heifers, will be conducted by AgResearch at Palmerston North, where the NZ Ruminant Methane Measurement Centre is located.
In this trial, four doses will be offered to the cattle to determine the minimum effective dose required.
Rumin8 managing director David Messina said New Zealand had always been a target market.
“New Zealand farmers have a strong track record of innovation adoption and desire to minimise their environmental footprint,” he said.
“These trials will ensure that we can be confident in the safety and efficacy of our methane reducing feed additives in New Zealand dairy and beef production systems.”
Rumin8 was required to seek Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines approval prior to the commencement of the trial.
Other trials are currently underway in Australia and Brazil.
Meanwhile, the Australian startup has also caught the attention of billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and its climate tech investing fund after. Rumin8 announced earlier this week that it closed Phase 2 of its seed funding round, led by Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), on January 23.