Dose-response effect of 3-nitrooxypropanol on enteric methane emissions in dairy cows

A. Melgar, K. C. Welter, K. Nedelkov, C. M.M.R. Martins, M. T. Harper, J. Oh, S. E. Räisänen, X. Chen, S. F. Cueva, S. Duval, A. N. Hristov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This experiment was designed to test the effect of inclusion rate of 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP), a methane inhibitor, on enteric methane emissions in dairy cows. The study was conducted with 49 multiparous Holstein cows in a randomized complete block design in 2 phases; phase 1 was with 28 cows, and phase 2 with 21 cows. Cows were fed a basal total mixed ration ad libitum and were blocked based on days in milk, milk yield, and enteric methane emissions during a 14-d covariate period. Treatments were control (no 3-NOP) and 40, 60, 80, 100, 150, and 200 mg of 3-NOP/kg of feed dry matter. Following a 14-d adaptation period, enteric gaseous emissions (methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen) were measured using the GreenFeed system (C-Lock Inc., Rapid City, SD) over a 3-d period. Compared with the control, inclusion rate of 3-NOP quadratically decreased daily enteric methane emissions from 22 to 40%. Maximum mitigation effect was achieved with the 3 highest 3-NOP doses (with no statistical difference among 100, 150, and 200 mg/kg). The decrease in methane emission yield and emission intensity ranged from 16 to 36% and from 25 to 45%, respectively. Emissions of hydrogen quadratically increased 6- to 10-fold, compared with the control; the maximum increase was with 150 mg/kg 3-NOP. Treatment did not affect daily emissions of carbon dioxide, but a linear increase in carbon dioxide emission yield was observed with increasing 3-NOP doses. Dry matter intake and milk yield of the cows was not affected by 3-NOP. Milk fat concentration and yield were increased by 3-NOP due to increased concentration of de novo synthetized short-chain fatty acids in milk. Inclusion of 3-NOP also tended to increase milk urea nitrogen but had no other effects on milk components. In this short-term experiment, 3-NOP decreased enteric methane emissions without affecting dry matter intake or milk yield and increased milk fat in dairy cows. Maximum mitigation effect was achieved at 100 to 200 mg/kg of feed dry matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6145-6156
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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