USA – Indiana-based Elanco has received FDA approval for Bovaer, a feed supplement designed to reduce methane emissions in dairy cattle.

Elanco, headquartered in Greenfield, expects to launch Bovaer during the third quarter of 2024. The supplement works by suppressing an enzyme in the cow’s rumen that produces methane.

According to the company, feeding just one tablespoon of Bovaer per lactating dairy cow daily can reduce methane emissions by about 30%, equating to a reduction of approximately 1.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions annually.

This creates an opportunity for dairy farmers to earn financial rewards for reducing their farm’s carbon footprint.

Feeding one million cows Bovaer would reduce emissions equivalent to removing more than 285,000 cars from the road for a year.

Meanwhile, Elanco and DSM-Firmenich have expanded their agreement, allowing Elanco to commercialize Bovaer across North America. Besides the U.S., Elanco can now market Bovaer® in Canada and Mexico, where it is already available for use in beef and dairy cattle.

This expanded agreement aims to accelerate the move towards climate-neutral cattle farming in North America within this decade.

“We congratulate Elanco and the U.S. dairy sector on this important milestone and will support Elanco by providing initial supplies from Europe,” Dimitri de Vreeze, CEO at dsm-firmenich said.

“This strategic collaboration exemplifies how we can accelerate the expansion and adoption of Bovaer® in North America to significantly decrease methane emissions on a large scale, supporting global efforts to combat climate change.”

In addition, Jeff Simmons, President and CEO of Elanco, emphasized the critical timing of this development, noting the United Nations’ warning that the world must curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to avoid irreversible impacts on the planet.

He added that reducing enteric methane emissions from cattle—naturally generated through the enteric fermentation process—represents a key opportunity.

“Methane, which lasts about a decade in the atmosphere and is 27 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, means that even small reductions can significantly impact global temperatures,” he said.

“Reducing enteric methane is critical if we are to reach our climate goals; It’s exciting our farmers will have an important tool to do that in Bovaer,” Dr. Frank Mitloehner, CLEAR Center Director and University of California Davis Professor and Cooperative Extension Air Quality Specialist echoed.

Katie Cook, Vice President of Livestock Sustainability and Farm Animal Marketing at Elanco noted that Bovaer, feeding Bovaer to cows provides a scalable and credible way for dairy farmers to benefit financially from implementing on-farm sustainability interventions.

“It could add only a few cents per gallon of milk while helping food companies meet climate commitments and consumer demand for sustainable dairy products,” she said.

Dairy producers could potentially see an annual return of $20 or more per lactating cow by feeding Bovaer.”

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