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Manure

See what farms are using for nutrient management, from anaerobic digesters and storage to field application and emissions.

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Question 1: With the recent downturn in the economy, is the carbon market still a viable option for farmers?

As lenders shy away from risk and raise borrowing costs, the carbon market will likely become of greater importance to the viability of capital-intensive projects. In spite of the current economic turmoil, the incoming Obama Administration has signalled its intention of regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Although it is too early to tell what sectors will be covered by a national cap-and-trade system, it seems likely that agriculture projects will be able to generate emission offsets for sale to capped entities.

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The following update is provided by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff program, is a producer-funded, nonprofit domestic and international planning and management organization responsible for increasing sales of and demand for U.S.-produced dairy products and ingredients.

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Q. What is the level of consumer interest in sustainability or carbon footprinting?

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There are conflicting reports on the contribution of ruminants to greenhouse gas emissions (GGE). In these environmentally sensitive times it will help to put things in prospective.

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Going “green” is the “in thing” for our world today. But just what does that mean? What is a carbon footprint?

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Improved efficiency in the production of milk has resulted in a huge reduction in the dairy industry’s carbon footprint, making it very “green,” said a University of Illinois Extension dairy specialist.

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