Nitrate and lipids have been recognized as effective dietary additives to reduce enteric methane (CH4) production. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of nitrate (NO3¯) and canola oil, alone or in combination, on enteric CH4, volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations, digesta kinetics and outflow of DM and microbial non-ammonia nitrogen (MicNAN) from the rumen of cattle. Four rumen-cannulated steers were used in the experiment which was designed as 4 × 4 Latin Square with four 21-d periods and four treatments. Dietary treatments consisted of a control diet (CON: 400 g/kg lucerne chaff and 600 g/kg barley grain), NO3¯ (CON + 20 g NO3¯/kg), O (CON + 50 g canola oil/kg), and NO3¯+O (CON + 20 g NO3¯/kg + 50 g canola oil/kg) with all inclusions expressed as g/kg as-fed. Exogenous markers (Co-EDTA, Yb-acetate and 15NH4Cl) were continuously infused into the rumen over 4 d to estimate digesta flow and rumen N outflow while whole tract digestibility (DMD) was determined using chromic oxide. Compared with the CON diet, feeding the NO3¯+O diet reduced (P < 0.01) methane yield (MY, g CH4/kg DMI) by 25%, daily methane production (DMP, g CH4/d) by 26% (P < 0.01) and the rumen mean retention time (MRT; P < 0.05). Nitrate containing diets reduced DMD (P < 0.01). Total VFA did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05) but NO3¯-containing diets increased acetate proportion (P < 0.01) whereas feeding the O diet increased propionate proportion (P < 0.01). Oil-containing diets reduced rumen volume (P < 0.01). The rumen protozoa concentration was reduced by including NO3¯ and canola oil alone or in combination in the diet of cattle (P < 0.05). This experiment demonstrates that feeding NO3¯+O has a synergistic effect on reducing methanogenesis from beef cattle which is consistent with NO3¯ and canola oil having complementary mechanisms for suppressing enteric CH4 production. Reducing methanogenesis by feeding NO3¯+O in this experiment did not improve the flow of MicNAN from the rumen (g MicNAN/d), microbial growth efficiency (g MicNAN/digestible organic matter intake, DOMI) or the proportion of microbial N derived from rumen NH3.
Animal Feed Science and Technology, Volume 259, January 2020, 114294,