Ground-breaking feed additive to reduce methane production from cattle to be manufactured in North Ayrshire

A ground-breaking feed additive that reduces methane produced by cattle by at least 30% will be globally manufactured in Dalry.

As the second week of COP26 gets underway in Glasgow, science-based company Royal DSM unveiled plans for a large-scale production facility at its site in Dalry to manufacture its new product Bovaer®, a methane reducing feed additive. 

Long-term investment

This project has been a long-term strategic investment of DSM into improving sustainability, and will be a substantial boost to their local production site, already a world-leading production facility for micro-nutrients, including Vitamin C. The investment has been supported by Scottish Enterprise, and builds upon the existing production capacity on the site.

Bringing this breakthrough technology to Scotland will help the local farming community in lowering its emissions, and thereby delivering a stronger sustainable export product. 

The Dalry site currently employs more than 300 people and by manufacturing the feed additive, this number is anticipated to grow by approximately 10 per cent, as well as securing the site’s long-term future and delivering between 100-150 construction roles over two years to boost the local economy. Preparatory work on the new plant at Dalry is underway and the site is set to be fully operational by 2025. 

Royal DSM made the announcement following a meeting with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the global climate change summit.  

Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister, said: “Methane reducing feed additives are a crucial part of the solutions that the agriculture sector needs to deploy towards achieving climate ambitions. This multi million pound investment will make Scotland the home of this innovative product and highlights that Scotland is leading the way in delivering a net zero future. 

“I’m pleased to also welcome this boost to the Scottish economy, securing the Dalry site’s long-term future and safeguarding more than 300 existing jobs with an anticipated increase of job numbers of around 10%. We will also see between 100 and 150 construction jobs created over two years.”

10 years research

Bovaer® is a cattle feed additive researched and developed for more than 10 years by Royal DSM. Just a quarter teaspoon of Bovaer® per cow per day consistently reduces enteric methane emission by approximately 30 per cent for dairy cows and up to 90 per cent for beef cows.

Scientists agree that reducing methane emissions is an important lever to reach the Paris Agreement target of maximum 1.5 degree warming, especially since methane’s warming effect is shorter lived and much more potent than carbon dioxide.

Royal DSM has made a commitment to enable double-digit on-farm reduction of livestock emissions by 2030, part of which is to make possible a sizeable reduction in emissions from farms by changing the feed that animals eat every day. 

Program Director at DSM,  Mark van Nieuwland said: “We are looking forward to offering a scientifically proven effective solution to the challenge of methane emissions by farming. We know the agricultural and livestock sectors recognise this opportunity for change and are eager to act.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with the Scottish farming sector to help it meet its net zero targets. To accommodate farming systems which favour grass-fed cattle as in Scotland, further development is ongoing to produce forms applicable to grazing systems.” 


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.