Current state of enteric methane and the carbon footprint of beef and dairy cattle in the United States

Jasmine A. Dillon, Kim R. Stackhouse-Lawson, Greg J. Thoma, Stacey A. Gunter, C. Alan Rotz, Ermias Kebreab, David G. Riley, Luis O. Tedeschi, Juan Villalba, Frank Mitloehner, Alexander N. Hristov, Shawn L. Archibeque, John P. Ritten, Nathaniel D. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Technological interventions for reducing enteric CH4 from beef and dairy systems abound. Respiration chambers enable researchers to obtain highly accurate enteric CH4 measurements from controlled environments, whereas SF6 and GreenFeed systems present opportunities for measuring emissions in open-air environments. Several resources are available to aid researchers in method selection, depending upon the intended application. Currently, 3-NOP appears to be a promising inhibitor for enteric CH4 production, with seaweed garnering additional interest. Evaluation of the practicality, feasibility, long-term mitigation potential, and long-term effects on productivity, reproduction, and animal health of feed additives is critical to identifying commercially relevant CH4 mitigation options. As plant phytochemicals have potential animal health and ecological co-benefits in addition to being potential CH4 mitigators, they should be studied from interdisciplinary, system approaches. Beyond the animal, soil carbon sequestration presents a potential opportunity for reducing the carbon footprint of ruminant livestock production systems, at least in the short term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalAnimal Frontiers
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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