The UK government wants farmers to give their cattle “high efficacy methane suppressing products” from 2025 as part of its strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and hit “net zero” by 2050.

It has set out in a new strategy document – The Net Zero Growth Plan – how it plans to tackle energy security and climate change in the UK including through “nature-based solutions”.

One of these “solutions” will likely be a move to direct farmers to introduce new “high efficacy methane suppressing products”, which the government expects to be launched in the UK market from 2025.

The UK Government has outlined that it intends to “explore the role of industry and government to maximise uptake of such products for suitable cattle farm systems at pace, through a phased approach”.

In the Net Zero Growth Plan it stipulates that this will “include the ambition to mandate the introduction of products with proven safety and efficacy in compound feeds for cattle as soon as practically possible in England”.

There are currently no licensed methane suppressing products available in the UK.

However products in the future could include methanogenesis inhibitors, seaweeds, essential oils, organic acids, probiotics, and antimicrobials.

The UK Government did not immediately confirm whether it would provide financial support to farmers to introduce methane suppressing products or how the proposal would work in practice.

The Net Zero Growth Plan also detailed that the UK Government wants to “build on progress in reducing emissions from agriculture” and that it intends to support farmers “to understand their emission sources” through carbon audits by 2024.

It also wants to highlight to farmers how they can take further actions to decarbonise their businesses through environmental land management schemes and that it wants to “develop a harmonised approach for measuring carbon emissions from farms, helping unlock new financial opportunities through carbon markets”.

The UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Thérèse Coffey, has said that she believes farmers, land and coastal managers are “stepping up to the challenge of delivering net zero and nature recovery”.