Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dairy Industry Looks at Reducing Methane

Dairy industry sees less-gassy future for cows
By ROBERT IMRIE – 6 hours ago

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — The U.S. dairy industry wants to engineer the "cow of the future" to pass less gas, a project aimed at cutting the industry's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

The cow project aims to reduce intestinal methane, the single largest component of the dairy industry's carbon footprint, said Thomas P. Gallagher, chief executive officer of the U.S. Dairy and Dairy Management Inc.'s Innovation Center in Rosemont, Ill.

One area to be explored is modifying the dairy cows' feed so they produce less methane, said Rick Naczi, the leader of the initiative.

"Right now there is some work being done on fish-oil additives and some other things," he said. "The cow is responsible for the majority of the greenhouse gas on the farm itself. We know there are ways that we can find to cut or reduce that production."

The University of Arkansas' Applied Sustainability Center estimates the dairy industry contributes less than 2 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Read More

The greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture have been dropping for decades and that trend will continue into the future with research like this. However, as new technology becomes available, agriculture will need license from the public to use it. Things like BST reduced emissions, but public pressure caused this safe product to be shunned.

1 comment:

Libby Yarber said...

Well this is crazy! Reducing the amoutn of gas a cow passes isn't going to drastically affect the greenhouse emission, since the majority of methane produced and released by a cow is through it's mouth.