Brewer’s Yeast to Cut Methane

DanCattle, Dairy and Livestock, Environment, This Land of Ours

A good use for leftover brewer’s yeast. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Brewer’s Yeast
Image by FRANCESCO ANGRISANI from Pixabay

Brewer’s yeast used to make beer is typically discarded once it’s no longer needed. Sometimes, though, the leftover yeast is mixed into livestock feed as a source of protein and vitamins. Now, there may be even more reason to continue this practice, according to findings by a team of scientists with the Agricultural Research Service. Laboratory results the team published in the journal Frontiers in Animal Science suggest that using leftover brewer’s yeast as a feed additive may benefit the environment by helping cows belch less methane into the air as a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Agriculture accounts for 11 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions with ruminant animals including cows responsible for more than a quarter of that total. Studies showed the brewer’s yeast cut methane production in microbes by 25%. Although spent brewer’s yeast is sometimes used as a livestock feed additive, the scientists say cow feeding trials would still be necessary to fully assess its potential to reduce methane and ammonia on a farm scale.

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Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet News Hour and The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.