Swedens largest feed company Lantmännen in partnership with Volta Greentech to develop the feed of the future

Swedens largest feed company Lantmännen, is collaborating with the Swedish startup Volta Greentech’s to examine how a red seaweed feed supplement that have a methane reducing effects on ruminants can be added to the feed of cows. At Lantmännen’s trial farm and beef center Viken, experiments has been done to examine how adding the red seaweed to cattle feed can significantly reduce the climate impact of Swedish cattle.

Angelo Demeter, Chief Scientist at Volta Greentech in the lab at Karolinska Institute

Several new international studies have show that a small supplementation of the red seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis in the feed of cows results in a significant reduction in methane production. Some of these studies have shown a reduction of as much as 50–80 percent. For this reason, Lantmännen, in partnership with Swedish start-up Volta Greentech, is testing the red seaweed at beef center Viken dairy farm.

“The methane-reducing effect has very largely been proven, and we now want to investigate how this affects other parameters. We want to find out if the cows eat the feed to the same extent, if the milk production is affected when it comes to yield and composition. So far, the results look promising,”says Cecilia Lindahl, Product Developer at Lantmännen Lantbruk who is responsible for the project.

One daily dose of the seaweed feed supplement

As part of the trial at Beef center Viken, 24 of the 400 cows on the farm are being fed in a separate trial area. The cows have been divided into two equal groups where one group is given a TMR (total mixed ratio) with added red algae, and the other group gets the same mix without algae. Daily feed consumption, milk yield and milk quality are being recorded individually for the 24 cows over a five-week period. Today the cows yield around 40 kg ECM (energy corrected milk) on average and consume about 24 kgDM (dry matter) of total mixed ratio.

The red algae Asparagopsis taxiformis under microscope

Project partner Volta Greentech has developed a method of cultivating red algae which means availability is assured. “Our research is based at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm both to optimize the nutrient value of the algae and to develop our own technology to optimize growth in a lab environment. We have just opened our first factory in Lysekil where we have started to produce the algae via our land-based cultivation system,” says Linus Holmsäter, CCO at Volta Greentech.

How much of the methane output is reduced depends on the amount ofred algae in the feed, but earlier tests indicate that a 50 to 80 percent reduction is a reasonable expectation. The Lantmännen feed trial aimed to monitor the effects of the new feed and find practical solutions to be able to use red algae feed on Swedish farms. “We are continuing our efforts to develop smart feed products for the Swedish market. If this study produces good results, red algae can become an important ingredient in the feed of the future,” says Lindahl.

For more information

  • Contact Lantmännen: Cecilia Lindahl, Product Developer, Lantmännen Lantbruk Phone:+46 724 54 49 90 email: cecilia.lindahl@lantmannen.com Lantmännen Press Office Phone:+46 10 556 88 00 E-mail: press@lantmannen.com
  • Contact Volta Greentech: Leo Wezelius, CMO & Co Founder, Phone:+46 72 200 11 48 email: leo@voltagreentech.com

About Lantmännen

  • Lantmännen is an agricultural cooperative and Northern Europe’s leader in agriculture, machinery, bioenergy and food products. Owned by 20,000 Swedish farmers. Lantmännen has 10,000 employees, operations in over 20 countries and an annual turnover of SEK50 billion. With grain at the heart of our operations, we refine arable land resources to make farming thrive. Some of our best-known food brands areAXA, Bonjour, Kungsörnen, GoGreen, Gooh, FINNCRISP, Schulstad and Vaasan. Our company is founded on the knowledge and values acquired through generations of farmers. With research, development and operations throughout the value chain, together we take responsibility from field to fork. For more information: www.lantmannen.com

About Volta Greentech

  • Volta Greentech is a Swedish start-up that aims to eliminate methane emissions from cows that make up about 5%of the world’s greenhouse gases. In a newly built factory in Lysekil, the company produces a red algae that reduces enteric methane production from cows by up to 80%. Volta Greentech has received financial backing from several well-known entrepreneurs and investors from the start, and is preparing to launch Sweden’s first methane reducing products for consumers shortly. Read more about Volta at www.voltagreentech.com.

Battling global warming by reducing methane emissions from cows https://voltagreentech.com/