Positive Externalities of a Feed Supplement for Cows

Feed supplement greatly reduces dairy cow methane emissions

A new feed supplement has been proven to reduce cows’ methane emissions by 30 percent. Indeed, the supplement suppresses the creation of the methane gas in the cows’ rumen, and therefore, decreases energy losses, previously dissipated through methane expulsion. The saved energy from methane production results in a weight gain and higher productivity for the cows.

This new feed supplement produces a positive externality; In addition to increases in cows’ weight gains, milk production, and reproduction, the supplement helps reduce production of methane, a major green house gas, in the environment.


  1. Nicky Tynan Said,

    November 2, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

    This is a good example of a technological innovation shifting the supply curve (making it less costly to produce the same quantity of milk). Highlighting the positive externality in terms of methane reduction is a nice addition. The fact that methane explusion results in energy losses suggests that some of the external costs are internalized.

  2. amalia bilis Said,

    November 7, 2016 @ 8:55 pm

    Will this externality directly impact the milk industry and if so will the milk production have to slow down in order to not create a surplus of milk?

  3. morrimad Said,

    November 8, 2016 @ 3:27 am

    Why does the cow feed produce methane emission, what is this? Is it a negative externality?

  4. zhengx Said,

    November 18, 2016 @ 6:32 am

    @Amalia Bilis, Good question.
    Because of the advantages of this new feed supplement, the price of this feed will be higher than normal feed. In my opinion, the larger cost of feed will cut the number of demanding cows to achieve production goal so that their costs eliminate each other. Although there will exist a surplus of milk in the beginning, as the market of this feed developed, farmers (I don’t know if they are called farmers or not) will balance the costs in feeds and in buying cows. So the milk production will not have to slow down.

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