Date of this Version
2019 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report
Two metabolism studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of biochar (0, 0.8, or 3% of diet dry matter) on digestibility and methane production in growing and finishing diets. Intake was not affected by biochar inclusion in the growing diet and increased with 0.8% biochar inclusion in the finishing study. Digestibility tended to increase quadratically with biochar inclusion in the growing study while digestibility tended to linearly decrease with biochar inclusion in the finishing study. Methane production (g/d) decreased 10.7% in the growing study and 9.9% in the finishing study with 0.8% biochar compared to no biochar. Methane production was reduced 10.6% and 18.4% in the growing and finishing studies, respectively, when measured as g/lb of intake. Although biochar is not FDA approved for animal feeding, the initial research shows potential as a methane mitigation strategy in both growing and finishing diets.