An updated meta-analysis of the anti-methanogenic effects of monensin in beef cattle Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Meta-analyses were performed to quantitatively summarize the effects of monensin on in vivo methane (CH4) production in beef cattle, and differentiate these outcomes according to dietary management, dose of monensin, and length of monensin supplementation. Data from 11 manuscripts describing 20 individual studies were used, and CH4 was converted to g/d when required. Studies were classified according to dose of monensin (mg/kg of diet dry matter), length of monensin supplementation prior to the last CH4 measurement, feeding management (ad libitum vs. limited-fed) and diet profile (high-forage or high-concentrate diets). Variance among studies were assessed using a test of heterogeneity and calculated using I statistics. Inclusion of monensin decreased (P > 0.01) CH4 production by 17.5g/day when all studies are analyzed together. A moderate (P > 0.01) heterogeneity (I = 55%) was detected for CH4 production estimates between studies; thus, meta-analyses were performed within classes. The reduction in CH4 differed (P > 0.01) according to dose of monensin, as it decreased (P > 0.01) by 25.6g/d when the high recommended dose range was used (32 to 44mg/kg), and tended to decrease (P 0.07) by 9.7 and 13.5g/d when the moderate ( 31mg/kg) and above recommended ( 45mg/kg) doses were used, respectively. The reduction in CH4 also differed (P > 0.01) according to length of monensin supplementation. Monensin decreased (P 0.05) CH4 production by 24.3g/d when supplemented for > 15 d, by 15.4g/d when supplemented from 23 to 33 d, by 24.3g/d when supplemented from 52 to 79 d, and tended to decrease (P = 0.06) CH4 production by 3.21g/d when supplemented from 94 to 161 d. The reduction in CH4 did not differ (P = 0.37) according to diet profile, despite a 30% difference in reduction when monensin was added to high-forage (20.89g/d) compared with high-concentrate diets (14.6g/d). The reduction in CH4 tended to differ according to feeding management (P = 0.08), decreasing by 22.9g/d (P > 0.01) when monensin was added to diets offered ad libitum, and by 11.5g/d (P = 0.05) in limit-fed diets. Collectively, this study provides novel insights and further corroborates monensin as CH4 mitigation strategy in beef cattle operations. The most effective responses were observed during the first 79 d of monensin supplementation, and when monensin was included between 32 to 44mg/kg of diet, was added to high-forage diets, and added to diets fed ad libitum.

published proceedings

  • Translational Animal Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Cooke, R. F., Eloy, L. R., Bosco, S. C., Lasmar, P., de Simas, J., Leiva, T., & de Medeiros, S. R.

complete list of authors

  • Cooke, Reinaldo F||Eloy, Lidiane R||Bosco, Sheila C||Lasmar, Pedro VF||de Simas, José MC||Leiva, Tiago||de Medeiros, Sergio R