Evaluation of Enteric Methane Reduction Protocol Issues

Aerial view of dairy farm

RESEARCHER: Ermias Kebreab, UC Davis

TIMELINE: April to July 2021

BACKGROUND: Dairy farmers in the California cannot claim any carbon credit without an accepted and approved protocol. This project is the first necessary step towards a goal of developing a protocol so that dairy farmers can participate in the carbon offset program and be able to claim credit for implementing enteric methane reducing technologies such as using feed additives or animals with greater feed efficiency. Currently, the only project approved by California Air Resources Board that benefits dairy is the use of digesters.

OBJECTIVE: To produce a publication that will be used to inform the development of a standardized protocol for reducing methane emissions. The project will lay out issues regarding enteric methane emissions, strategies to mitigate methane production, the use of feed additives, as well as quantification, monitoring, verification, and ownership of carbon offset programs for California.

INDUSTRY BENEFIT: There is no protocol anywhere in the world on enteric methane emissions that can be used to claim carbon credits. The timing is ripe for such a protocol because there are a number of solutions that are close to market. This research paper will contribute to the creation of an enteric methane reduction protocol for California.

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