16:54 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Eco-Minded Danes Develop New Grass to Reduce Cow Burps

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    Over the past decade, Scandinavians have developed a justified reputation of being the world's most ecologically-minded people. Today, Denmark aims to pioneer a new sort of grass to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving cows' digestion.

    Danish researchers from Aarhus University have developed a new type of grass that looks to impact greenhouse gas levels emitted by the agriculture sector, where cow burps have been found to account for at least 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, Danish Radio reported.

    The new grass is easier for cows to digest and is therefore expected to improve the amount of the greenhouse gases cows release into the air though burping. Accordingly, Denmark's Environment and Food Ministry has allocated 13.5 million kroner (over $2 million) for further research of the bovine metabolism.

    "We know that cattle are one of agriculture's main culprits when it comes to releasing climate gases, so it's important that we research how we can reduce the cows' emissions," Danish Environment and Food Minister Esben Lund Larsen told Danish Radio.

    ​According to Larsen, the new grass is also expected to boost Denmark's milk production. Additionally, state-of-the-art DNA technology has been implemented and expectations are very high. The eco-friendly gas-free grass is expected to be ready in about seven to eight years.

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    However ridiculous it may sound, cow burps are no laughing matter, as they have been found to be about 25 times more potent that carbon dioxide. A single cow produces up to 500 liters of methane a day. A range of experiments, conducted by Danish scientists in 2013, revealed that methane emissions can be reduced by 20 percent by adding nitrates to the cow feed, Danish Radio reported.

    Earlier this year, Aarhus University reportedly investigated whether the use of oregano in cow feed can reduce cow methane emissions by 25 percent in a joint DKK 6mln project ($900,000) with the Danish Organic Association and a number of organic food producers.

    According to Danish Radio, cows' burps are actually much more dangerous to the environment than bovine flatulence, another bodily function which is difficult to control, previously believed to adversely affect the global emission of greenhouse gases.


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