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News and Information Related to Sustainability in Dairy

A collection of articles relevant to dairies and their environmental impact.

Cow Methane Emission Reduction Strategies Expanding

May 22, 2024 | Nicole Heslip

Dr. Frank Mitloehner, a professor at the University of California-Davis, discusses diverse strategies to reduce dairy cattle methane emissions. He emphasizes the importance for dairy farms to have access to a range of resources within the methane mitigation toolbox, including manure technologies like anaerobic digestion, feed ingredients, genetics, and additional methods.

Making Money from Manure

May 16, 2024 | Suzie Romig

Quail Ridge Dairy, located in Fort Morgan, Colorado, produces more than just milk on its 4,500-cow dairy; it also generates renewable energy. The farm utilizes an anaerobic digester system to convert waste from their thousands of cows into renewable energy, in turn reducing methane emissions from manure. This renewable energy serves as both an additional revenue stream to the farm if sold and a potential means of decreasing energy expenses when used on-farm.

New life cycle assessment will boost our story

May 9, 2024 | Tim Kurt

As public concern for environmental stewardship rises, industries like dairy are under increasing pressure to demonstrate transparency and action. The U.S. dairy sector, a pioneer in environmental reporting, is embarking on updated life cycle assessments to align with evolving global standards, reaffirming its commitment to sustainability and accountability.

Agriculture decreased GHG emissions by almost 2% in just one year

April 30, 2024 | Michelle Miller

The 2024 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2022,” highlights agriculture’s near 2% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2021 to 2022, marking the largest decrease amongst all economic sectors. By leveraging various sustainability initiatives, innovative technologies, expert technical assistance, and advancements in soil, crop, and animal management practices, agriculture is steadily progressing towards its sustainability objectives.

A Winemaking Byproduct Can Reduce Dairy Cattle Emissions

April 29, 2024 | Emily C. Dooley

Preliminary findings from UC Davis have shown the use of grape pomace in alfalfa-based feed for dairy cows can reduce enteric methane emissions by 10 to 11%. The piloted research study has shown the pomace’s optimal fatty acid profile is capable of reducing enteric methane emissions in a cost-effective way while maintaining milk quality.

New Cornell research paving the way for reduced methane emissions from dairy farms

April 26, 2024 | Liam Healy

As the need to reduce on-farm methane emissions becomes more apparent, researchers at Cornell University are working to formulate dietary strategies through feed additives to decrease enteric methane emissions in dairy cattle. To track these emissions, Dr. Joshua McFadden and his team will utilize novel respiration chambers to assess the effectiveness of various feed additives in mitigating enteric methane emissions.

Tillamook announces sustainability progress

April 17, 2024 | Dairy Foods

Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) has recently published its 2023 Stewardship Report, highlighting the cooperative’s diverse stewardship initiatives. Driven by the dedication of its employees, these initiatives include TCCA’s sustainable certified packaging materials, enhancements in animal care, reductions in on-farm landfill waste, awarded grants, and upcoming manure management projects.

Turning Sustainability into Profitability with Carbon

April 9, 2024 | Taylor Leach

While dairy farmers have always been familiar with sustainable management practices, the realm of sustainability, particularly within carbon markets, presents vast opportunities. Carbon programs provide farmers with incentives that yield both environmental and economic benefits. By dedicating time to understand the workings and processes of carbon programs, farmers can effectively navigate the array of carbon opportunities best suited for their operation.

USDA Makes $1.5 Billion Available to Help Farmers Advance Conservation and Climate-Smart Agriculture as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

April 3, 2024 | USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of a historic $1.5 billion through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Through either an RCPP Classic or RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA), these funds will be used to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners adopt and expand conservation practices and strategies to enhance natural resources while addressing the climate crisis.

On-farm data show dairy’s environmental impact

March 28, 2024 | Chris Torres

Researchers at Cornell University are working to collect real farm data to quantify dairy’s environmental footprint as part of the Nutrient Management Spear Program’s Dairy Sustainability Project. Tools like the Whole Farm Nutrient Mass Balance, developed by Cornell, measures the balance between nutrient inputs and outputs on a whole farm basis. Another popular tool amongst researchers, Cool Farm Tool, estimates total farm greenhouse gas emissions as well as emissions produced from milk production.