New in-plant forage inoculants lower methane from ruminant livestock


Livestock producers can boost milk and meat production while lowering methane emissions more than 30 percent with new in-plant bacterial inoculants unveiled today by South Dakota-based Agrovive Biologicals.

The new inoculants – called “Seed2Rumen” and “Leaf2Rumen”  – can be applied to the seed or to a standing crop of corn, sorghum, alfalfa and cereals being grown for silage. The crop-specific, multi-strain bacteria enter the germinating seed or leaf to begin their functions within the growing plant. In-plant benefits include enhancing yield per acre and producing a forage that ensiles quickly to accelerate starch and fiber availability, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and supporting feed efficiencies in the rumen as well as nutrient recovery from manure.

“After a half-decade of searching, we knew we had something special when a 2,500-cow dairyman called to question if his extra 5 pounds per cow was coming from the experimental inoculant we had put on his seed corn the spring before,” said Agrovive CEO Tony Hagen. “Other large dairies in Eastern South Dakota got wind of these experimental results and our on-farm trialing has increased exponentially from there.”

Corn silage from these early on-farm trials was sent to Fermetrics Technologies, an independent fermentation laboratory for potential methane reduction analysis. Their four-step analysis process supports a greater than 30% methane reduction. The final percent reduction will be released when the fourth analysis is completed later this summer.

“We set out to find biologicals to improve plant growth and performance, but when we realized how much these experimental products lowered methane and other greenhouse emissions, we knew we had something that is revolutionary,” Hagen said.

On-farm testing for the 2022 growing season has expanded significantly.  Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and distributor YieldMaster Solutions have initiated a nationwide on-farm evaluation program with Agrovive Biologicals.

“This alliance is to support efficient milk production and to assist our 12,000 member producers to achieve their individual farm sustainability goals,” said Rene Lavoie, DFA Director of Purchasing and Vendor Relations.

Other studies are underway that could demonstrate even more impressive results.

  • Dairy One – a DFA aligned cooperative – Agrovive Biologicals and other interested parties have contracted with Cornell University to do a seed-to-lagoon agronomic, nutritional and economic study.  Results are expected in fall 2022.
  • A large, multi-farm study is being initiated by a leading dairy cooperative and their producer patrons by applying “Leaf2Rumen” Inoculant to 100,000 plus acres of corn for silage this June.
  • During June 2022 South Dakota State University will be launching a beef cow feeding study to evaluate animal performance and measure methane and greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to silage crops, inoculants can be applied to tame pastures and enter the animal as green forage.  An independent, multi-state, cow-calf pasture study is planned for the Southeastern US to measure animal performance on inoculated and un-inoculated pastures.

Available crop-specific formulas are planned for corn, sorghum, alfalfa and cereals for silage harvest as well as tame pastures. Products will be available from a wide spectrum of seed brands and ag retailers across the U.S.