T-Sou-ke Nation greenhouses are cultivating an innovative approach to significantly reduce methane gas production by livestock.
On Monday, Premier John Horgan toured a facility with T’Sou-ke Nation Chief Gordie Planes and Tamara Loiselle that will significantly reduce methane emissions.
Loiselle is a Canadian company Synergraze Inc. is the founder and chief operating officer of a company commercializing livestock feed additives that can significantly reduce methane emissions from cattle, sheep, chickens, bison and sheep.
One of three greenhouses on Souke Road operated by the T’Sou-ke Nation is home to a demonstration project that involves growing seaweed and algae in tanks harvested from ocean seeds that are then fed to livestock. are used as food additives that can significantly reduce Methane emissions.
“We’re developing something that can have a global impact by making Canadian cattle producers more competitive,” said Loiselle. “One cow, on average, produces the equivalent of one ton of CO2 a year. Using just a little extra with BC cattle would take a million cars off the road annually.
In Soke alone, the facility will feed 135,000 cattle in one feedlot. Imagine the reduction in methane that comes with 1.4 billion livestock globally, Louisel added.
“Chief Jets and T’Sou-ke have really embraced the project and our partnership,” he said.
The forging relationship with Louiselle on the demonstration project — in a greenhouse previously used to grow wasabi — has been a great experience, the planes said.
“This is an opportunity to do something that will have a very positive impact on Mother Earth,” said Planes. “This is something we strive for for our children and for our future. It will lead our children to change the world. Innovation like this is part of getting us where we want to go, in our oceans. With further investment implications.
Horgan said the project is important in many ways, especially given the challenges facing the cattle industry.
“It’s keeping up with the needs of a changing world,” Horgan said. “It could increase productivity in the livestock industry and reduce the amount of land needed for grazing. Methane is a big challenge, and capturing it and using it for other purposes is a big game changer.”
Livestock accounts for 30 percent of methane emissions worldwide. Although methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere by human activity after carbon monoxide, methane is 25 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas than carbon dioxide.
Louiselle comes from a farming family in BC and has a background in Environmental Science from the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Alberta. She was a faculty member at Mount Royal University and taught science in the Indigenous Education Program for over a decade. Loiselle received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2010 for her work with local communities and the environment and has also been recognized as Hero Mother of the Year by TIME magazine.
In addition to greenhouse gas mitigation, benefits reported by Synergraze include increased cattle weight gain rates by up to 50 percent, and increased profits for cattle producers through reduced feed costs. Voluntary methane mitigation in livestock production also qualifies for carbon credits in some jurisdictions.
According to Synergraze research, methane emissions could be reduced by 8.9 million tonnes/CO2 per year if 40% of Canada’s livestock were supplemented with Synergraze.
Research and development is progressing towards a large land-based plant within a year.
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