Enteric methane emission, milk production, and composition of dairy cows fed 3-nitrooxypropanol

A. Melgar, C. F.A. Lage, K. Nedelkov, S. E. Räisänen, H. Stefenoni, M. E. Fetter, X. Chen, J. Oh, S. Duval, M. Kindermann, N. D. Walker, A. N. Hristov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study examined the effect of 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP), an investigational substance, on enteric methane emission, milk production, and composition in Holstein dairy cows. Following a 3-wk covariate period, 48 multi- and primiparous cows averaging (± standard deviation) 118 ± 28 d in milk, 43.4 ± 8 kg/d milk yield, and 594 ± 57 kg of body weight were blocked based on days in milk, milk yield, and enteric methane emission and randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: (1) control, no 3-NOP, and (2) 3-NOP applied at 60 mg/kg feed dry matter. Inclusion of 3-NOP was through the total mixed ration and fed for 15 consecutive weeks. Cows were housed in a freestall barn equipped with a Calan Broadbent Feeding System (American Calan Inc., Northwood, NH) for monitoring individual dry matter intake and fed ad libitum once daily. Enteric gaseous emissions (methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen) were measured using 3 GreenFeed (C-Lock Inc., Rapid City, SD) units. Dry matter intake, cow body weight, and body weight change were not affected by 3-NOP. Compared with the control group, 3-NOP applied at 60 mg/kg feed dry matter decreased daily methane emission, emission yield, and emission intensity by 26, 27, and 29%, respectively. Enteric emission of carbon dioxide was not affected, and hydrogen emission was increased 6-fold by 3-NOP. Administration of 3-NOP had no effect on milk and energy-corrected milk yields and feed efficiency, increased milk fat and milk urea nitrogen concentrations, and increased milk fat yield but had no other effects on milk components. Concentration of C6:0 and C8:0 and the sum of saturated fatty acids in milk fat were increased by 3-NOP. Total trans fatty acids and the sum of polyunsaturated fatty acids were decreased by 3-NOP. In this experiment, 3-NOP decreased enteric methane daily emission, yield, and intensity without affecting dry matter intake and milk yield, but increased milk fat in high-producing dairy cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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