Cattle Genetics Influence Methane Production

An international team of researchers published a study in Science Advances showing that the genetics of an individual cow strongly influence the make-up of the microorganisms in its rumen. Some cattle produce significantly less methane due to their genetics, so it would be possible to select for those genetics to breed low-methane-producing cattle. The research was done on dairy cattle, but study authors say it should apply to beef cattle, as well. More research will have to be done on how this selection affects other production traits, but the research team has noted a correlation between efficiency of milk production and the microbiome that could indicate higher milk production from low-methane cows.