Do Cows Produce the Most Methane?

By weight, no cattle do not produce the most methane. Insects do. There are a variety of insects, that also have methanogens in their digestive tracts, that produce methane. (Methanogens are bacteria in the digestive tract that produce methane via fermentation also known as methanogenesis). Cockroaches, termites, centipedes and various arthropods all produce methane as noted in this study from 1994 “Methane production in terrestrial arthropods.” Roughly 200 to 300 hundred cockroaches emit as much methane as a head of cattle. If you look back at articles from the early 1980’s on termites, based on laboratory (in vitro) experiments, many scientists thought termites could be responsible for up

Green Grass & Newborn Calves a Perfect Match

Assisting a cow with her calf is much nicer when the weather is pleasant — and matching calving season with the onset of green grass makes you more money, too. “When you can line up that reproductive cycle with the grass production cycle, that’s huge,” said Jim Bauer, an Acme-area rancher and former manager of the Grey Wooded Forage Association. “That knocks a lot of dollars off and a lot of work out of keeping a cow for a year.” While he can’t put an exact dollar figure on the benefits of calving in spring, the savings are “a lot.” The biggest factor is the energy requirements for cows in their last trimester. For a cow calving in February, her energy requirements start to increase in Novem

3 Ways to Achieve a 266% ROI with Cover Crops

Rulon Enterprises in Indiana shares how cover crops free up fertility, increase yields and improve soil health, providing a $69.17-per-acre benefit. In a down ag economy, no-tillers may be wondering whether cover crops are worth the expense. But Rulon Enterprises in Arcadia, Ind., finds covers do more than pay their way in their no-till system of 20-plus years. At the 2015 Iowa Cover Crops Conference, Ken Rulon explained broke down the costs of cover crops for his family’s operation in Arcadia, Ind., and the return on investment they’ve received from pairing covers with their long-term, ‘never-till’ system. Ken stresses that his analysis is from data and assumptions for their farm, and other

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