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article imageDiet for cows means less methane released

By Stephanie Dearing     Jun 22, 2009 in Environment
A new diet for cows being implemented by environmentally-conscious dairy farmers in Vermont means less methane gas will be released by the cows during the course of digestion.
You can really feel good about buying and consuming the organic dairy products being produced by Stoneyfield Farms in the United States. 15 farms in Vermont who produce milk for the Stoneyfield Farm brand of organic dairy products are working to further reduce their carbon footprints by changing the food their cows normally eat. When cows burp they release methane gas, a gas that has been pinpointed as one of the culprits in global warming. Studies show that the methane produced by cows contributes as much as 5% of the total methane gas released around the world. Of the overall total contributed by cows, dairy cattle account for about 2% of the gas release.
Organic dairy farmers are now switching to feeds such as flax seed, alfalfa and grasses high in Omega 3 oils in an attempt to reduce the amount of methane produced by their cows. Reducing the amount of methane produced by cows' belches has been a subject of research for the past several years. A recent study in Great Britain shows that cows can release as much as 400 litres of methane daily. Agriculture is a key sector in the release of greenhouse gasses.
Stoneyfield Farms is pioneering this new initiative, and they have found that the change of feed for the cows has had an unanticipated benefit - the nutritional value of the milk has increased.
More about Cows, Carbon footprint, Environment, Vermont, USA
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