Meat & Livestock News

AgriZeroNZ Invests in US Start-up to Combat Methane Emissions

AgriZeroNZ, a joint venture between the New Zealand government and prominent agribusiness entities, including Fonterra and Rabobank, has invested $4.1 million in a US-based start-up, Hoofprint Biome. 

Hoofprint Biome was initiated by Drs Kathryn Polkoff and Scott Collins from NC State University, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their innovation revolves around enzymes that can naturally diminish rumen methane emissions. 

When consumed as a supplement, the Hoofprint probiotic is projected to decrease enteric methane emissions by over 80% and concurrently enhance milk and meat production by more than 5%.

Established earlier this year, AgriZeroNZ’s primary objective is to expedite the creation of tools and technologies that aid farmers in significantly reducing emissions, aligning with climate objectives. The partnership has secured a commitment of $165 million for the initial four years, spanning at least ten years.

Wayne McNee, AgriZeroNZ’s chief executive, expressed optimism about the recent investment, highlighting its potential to pave the way for innovative solutions for New Zealand’s agricultural sector. 

He emphasised the global search for opportunities tailored for New Zealand farms, acknowledging the country’s farmers as the most efficient globally. 

However, he stressed the critical need to reduce agricultural emissions, citing technology as a pivotal part of the solution.

Dr. Polkoff from Hoofprint shared her enthusiasm about collaborating with New Zealand farmers to introduce advanced probiotics to ruminant agriculture. 

The primary goal is reducing methane emissions while enhancing animal health and profitability. The partnership also seeks to address the climate crisis in collaboration with New Zealand farmers, recognised for their leadership in sustainable agriculture.

McNee further stated that the investment aligns with AgriZeroNZ’s vision of providing all New Zealand farmers with cost-effective solutions to cut emissions. The aim is to achieve a 30% reduction by 2030 and strive for ‘near zero’ emissions by 2040.

 Although the Hoofprint probiotic is still nascent, McNee expressed hope for its successful progression through New Zealand’s regulatory framework and its eventual introduction to farmers.