Regional Dairy Farmer-to-Farmer AMMP Project Tours and Awareness Outreach
PROJECT LEADS: Mark Cooper and Deanne Meyer, UC Davis; Denise Mullinax, CDQAP/CDRF
TIMELINE: January 2020 to March 2022
BACKGROUND: California is home to about 1.7 million dairy cows and nearly as many replacement heifers. Cattle consume, digest and convert feed to human edible food (milk and meat). Undigested feed is excreted as manure. Manure managed under anaerobic conditions produces methane. Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) specifically requires that methane emissions from dairy and livestock manure be reduced by 40 percent of 2013 levels by 2030. In addition to anaerobic methane digesters, alternative manure management practices (AMMP) are accepted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
OBJECTIVE: To expand awareness of AMMP practice options to dairy farmers at large. This project will provide substantial information and awareness opportunities to bolster dairy farmer understanding and adoption of AMMP practices through farmer-to-farmer information and experience sharing.
INDUSTRY BENEFIT: To evaluate methane reduction options for applicability to individual dairy farms, dairy farmers must understand the consequences of selecting specific practices, including operational changes, economic opportunities or costs, and whole-farm environmental impacts and benefits. Farmer-to-farmer information sharing is a key component to producer information gathering and also for confidence in methane reduction practice evaluation and adoption. This project encourages deeper producer evaluation and adaptation to individual farm situations and fosters greater likelihood of practice adoption and benefits.
* This project has been extended and modified due to COVID-19 restrictions. Project leads were unable to facilitate in-person tours in 2020 and throughout the first part of 2021. Tours were replaced by live and recorded webinars, printed and online information sheets, and video.
To access outreach materials for this project, visit https://cdqap.org/ammp-outreach-project/