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New Research Shows Oregano Feed Additive Reduces Methane Emissions

New Research Shows Oregano Feed Additive Reduces Methane Emissions

Research published in the March 2020 Journal of Dairy Science shows that feeding Stand Strong™ for Ruminants to dairy cows reduced methane emissions by 15 percent.

Stand Strong for Ruminants is a natural oregano- and cobalt-based feed additive from Ralco.

“Ruminant livestock production has been identified as making a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr. D.P. Casper, who was part of the research team.

“Studies demonstrate that 71 percent of the methane produced by enteric fermentation originates from ruminal fermentation in beef, dairy, sheep and goats. Natural feed additives, such as the oregano essential oil, are showing promising results in shifting ruminal fermentation to reduce methane emissions,” he said.

Research Details The new research was led by Dr. Jianping Wu, president of Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and conducted by graduate student Dr. Rui Zhou with assistance from Dr. Casper and others.

Stand Strong for Ruminants shifted ruminal fermentation leading to increased ruminal propionate concentrations by 7.5 percent. It also increased microbial crude protein concentrations by 58 percent.

“These microbial shifts in ruminal fermentation resulted in an approximately 15 percent reduction in methane emissions,” said Dr. Zhou.

Oregano as a natural feed additive is known to demonstrate antimicrobial activities. It’s one of several essential oils being researched as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters.

“The use of natural feed additives, such as oregano, is an excellent alternative to the use of antibiotic growth promoters,” Dr. Casper said.

The study demonstrates that producers can modulate ruminal fermentation through short-chain fatty acids and growth of specific rumen bacterial groups using an all-natural growth promoter.

References Zhou, R. J. Wu, X. Lang, L. Liu, D. P. Casper, C. Wang, L. Zhang, and S. Wei. 2020. Effects of oregano essential oil on in vitro ruminal fermentation, methane production, and ruminal microbial community. J. Dairy Sci. 103:2303-2304.

About Ralco Ralco is a third-generation family-owned multinational company with distribution in more than 40 countries. Ralco is a leading global supplier of natural solutions to maximize nutrition conversion in both plants and animals. Learn more at


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