By Kate Ayers
California dairy producers have made impressive advances over the last 50 years.
Compared to 1964, farmers are producing the same amount of milk with their herds while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent, a March University of California – Davis (UC Davis) release said.
Scientists examined cows’ environmental effects from the time of birth to the time the animals left the farm, the release said. The researchers also reviewed feed production, machinery use and transportation in their analysis.
The biggest greenhouse gas reduction was of enteric methane, which is the gas that cows belch throughout the digestive process.
California’s dairy industry has also reduced water usage by 88 per cent and uses less land, the release said.
“Dairy farmers are doing a lot to help reduce the industry's environmental footprint," Ermias Kebreab, a professor of animal science at UC Davis and senior author, said in the release.
The study is published in the April edition of the Journal of Dairy Science.
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