The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced that California dairy farmers are well on their way to meeting the industry goals for methane reduction. The industry will soon be past the halfway point of achieving the target level of reducing methane emissions. CDFA has awarded nearly $102 million in additional grant funding for projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels on dairies across California.
“The awards allow our dairy families to produce clean renewable energy,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “These efforts promote energy-secure economies, which are long-lasting and important contributions to local rural communities and our planet’s well-being.”
More than 90 projects have been funded through the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP). Collectively, the projects are expected to reduce GHG levels by nearly 790,00 metric tons on an annual basis. When also considering then more than 220 other dairy methane reduction projects, CDFA expects a reduction of 2.2. million metric tons of greenhouse gases each year.
“It’s important to recognize the strong partnerships we as farmers have with our state agencies,” Dairy Cares’ chairman, Charles “Chuck” Ahlem said in a news release. “Through this collaboration, we are leading the world in sustainable dairy farm practices. By aggressively reducing methane and continuing to do more using less water, fossil fuel and energy, we will continue to meet challenges and ensure the availability of sustainable and highly nutritious dairy products that consumers love.”
The Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy has established parameters for the dairy and livestock industries to reduce emission levels to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030. California dairy farmers have been proactive in addressing the ambitious goal of methane reduction. The reduction of 2.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases is equivalent to approximately 25 percent of the levels measured in 2013.