News and Information Related to Sustainability in Dairy
A collection of articles relevant to dairies and their environmental impact.
GCI-funded research aims to reduce enteric methane emissions
The Greener Cattle Initiative, GCI, has recently awarded additional grants to help fund research for innovations in reducing enteric methane in cattle. One award received by Roderick Mackie, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will be used to study the affects of hydrogen dynamics on enteric methane production from differing diets and feed additives. Another award received by Francisco Peñagaricano, assistant professor in the Animal and Dairy Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be used to study selective breeding for methane traits within the cattle genome.
Beef-on-Dairy: A Revolution in American Beef Production?
The growth of beef-on-dairy production has played a significant role in the U.S. beef industry. Not only does the increased use of beef genetics in dairy cattle have dual benefits in the dairy and beef production stream, but this strategy also creates a more sustainable animal. Compared to purebred dairy cattle, beef-on-dairy cattle have greater feed efficiencies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions without compromising the quality of beef and milk products.
New Dairy and Livestock Enteric Methane Reduction Research Program – Proposals Now Being Accepted
The California Department of Food & Agriculture announced the acceptance of proposals for its new 2023 Livestock Enteric Methane Emission Reduction Research Program until November 1, 2023. Currently, enteric methane accounts for 35% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the agriculture and forestry sector. Funded research focusing on solutions to reduce enteric methane has the potential to play an important role in slowing the affects of climate change.
USDA allocates $65M to conservation grants
The USDA recently announced it would make $65 million available to producers through its Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). In efforts to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners face the challenges of climate change through science and innovation, CIG will allocate $50 million towards the CIG On-Farm Trials initiative and $15 million towards the CIG Classic. NRCS sees this round of grants unique due to it’s increased amount of funds from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and focus on enteric methane reduction.
Start-up Fighting Cow-Burped Methane Raises US$29M in Series B Funding
CH4 Global Inc., a climate tech company, aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the animal agriculture sector through their signature product, Methane Tamer. Fed as an additive, Methane Tamer uses red seaweed (Asparagopsis) to reduce 90% of methane emissions produced by cattle and feed energy lost to methane emissions. Raising $29M U.S. dollars, CH4 Global Inc. will use its funds to build and validate the CH4 Global EcoPark facility to produce Methane Tamer at scale, providing affordable access of the product to farmers globally.
Brightmark and Chevron Achieve First Gas Milestone with Florida’s Largest Family Dairy
Chevron and Brightmark have teamed up to partner with Larson Family Farms in Okeechobee, Florida to produce a lower carbon-intensity transportation fuel through dairy renewable natural gas (RNG). Using four anaerobic digesters, captured methane, is converted to RNG from dairy manure and remaining manure solids are used as organic fertilizer. The Larson project shows there are climate-smart practices available, and continuously growing, in the dairy industry that can be both environmentally and economically viable.
CDFA Accepting New Practice Proposals for Alternative Manure Management and Dairy Digester Research and Development Program Tools
CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) is now accepting proposals for innovative manure management practices to be included in its Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) and Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) Benefits Calculator Tools.
Cattle Industry Consortium Awards First Grant to Curb Enteric Methane Emissions
The Greener Cattle Initiative (GCI) recently awarded Dr. Alexander N. Hristov, Distinguished Professor of Dairy Nutrition at Penn State, with its first grant for developing innovative solutions to reducing enteric methane emissions from cattle. Launched by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Center of Innovation for U.S. Dairy, GCI is the first industry-oriented research and development consortium to focus on the reduction of enteric methane, the largest source of direct greenhouse gas emissions in the beef and dairy sectors.
Yara teams up with DMI to promote sustainability
Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) has recently teamed up with Yara, out of Norway, who has led solutions to soil and crop health for over one hundred years. Yara’s collaboration with DMI on the Dairy Soil and Water Regeneration (DSWR) project will open opportunities for U.S. dairy farmers to improve their soil health while exploring markets and incentives for manure-based products.
Local Dairies Show Interest in Hydroponic Feed as a Service
The idea of feeding cows hydroponically grown feed such as wheat and barley has piqued the interest of California dairy farmers. Operating with automated seeding, watering, and harvesting, HydroGreen’s feed centers can produce about 34 tons of feed a day of which dairy farmers would purchase from directly. HydroGreen can keep costs low for farmers, while providing feed with a better pH balance for cows’ digestion, and therefore reducing emissions.