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Going greener means less burps for dairy cows

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With 14 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions produced via the agricultural sectors across the planet, with a good chunk of that percentage coming from the front end (not the back end, surprisingly) of the 1.5 billion plus cows grazing on our green, green grasses, a dairy farming couple in Coventry, Vt. has changed the diet of their cows to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they burp.

According to the Associated Press in an article on Yahoo News, Coventry Valley Farm uses a yogurt made from organic milk that reduces the amount of methane produced by the cows’ intestines. The diet consists of flaxseed, alfalfa and grasses high in Omega 3 fatty acids. The amount of gas cows burp is the dairy industry’s biggest greenhouse gas contributor, according to various studies, with the industry contributing about 2 percent of the country’s total greenhouse output.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy in Rosemont, Ill., is checking out every possible way to sustain consumers’ demands for sustainable production. It will be looking at everything from growing crops to feed the cows to trucking the milk produced by the cows in an effort to reduce the dairy industry’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, which would be the equivalent of trashing just about 1.25 million cars from U.S. roads every single year, say experts.

Who knew plugging up the burping power of moo cows could help reduce total greenhouse gas emissions and help get us on our way to combating global warming successfully? Gas-X for cows anyone?

Brittany @ June 22, 2009

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