Carbon footprint of animal agriculture is topic of webcast

Today´s dairies use fewer resources and have less waste output than those of 60 years ago, according to a Cornell University study.

The study found that dairy farming in 2007 produced 24 percent of the manure and 43 percent of the methane output per gallon of milk compared to farming in 1944. Modern dairy systems use 10 percent of the land, 23 percent of the feedstuffs and 35 percent of the water required to produce the same amount of milk in 1944.

Jude Capper, lead author of the study, and Roger Cady, a scientist at Elanco who contributed to the study, will present their research during a July 31 webcast from eXtension.

eXtension is an educational partnership comprised of land grant universities across the country. Kansas State University Research and Extension is a partner in eXtension.

The webcast will highlight research on calculating the carbon footprint of animal agriculture, especially in dairies. The researchers will emphasize the role of production efficiency.

The free educational webcast is from the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center of eXtension. Webcast speakers include:

Capper is an assistant professor of dairy sciences at Washington State University. Her post-doctoral research at Cornell focused on ruminant lipid metabolism and modeling the environmental impact of dairy production. She has worked with colleagues to show the environmental impact of dairy production.

The group´s current project evaluates the contribution made by various on-farm management practices (such as age at first calving, cow longevity and somatic cell count) to the environmental impact of milk production. She intends to extend the work to develop equivalent models for beef production.

Cady is a senior technical consultant at Elanco Animal Health. He received a PhD in animal breeding from Cornell University. Cady spent two years working as a post-doctoral research assistant at the University of Guelph where he developed the prototype sire-evaluation program for the Ontario Calving Ease Report. Cady has served as an extension dairy specialist at the University of New Hampshire and Washington State University and worked at Monsanto before joining Elanco.

The Friday, July 31 session begins at 1:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The webcast meeting room opens 15 minutes before the start time. Participants should go to to view the webcast.

Another webcast slated for Aug. 21 is about evaluating innovative technologies through Farm Pilot Project Coordination (FPPC). FPPC has been involved in 37 demonstrations of innovative manure treatment technologies in 17 states. Those involved have learned about making these technologies feasible at a farm scale.

Speakers for the Aug. 21 webcast include Bill Boyd of the U.S. Department of Agriculture´s Natural Resource Conservation Service and Bob Monley of FPPC, Inc.

Monthly webcasts are hosted by the Livestock and Poultry Environmental (LPE) Learning Center, an information resource developed by more than 150 experts from land-grant universities, agencies and other organizations. The center is part of the national eXtension interactive Web resource customized with links to local Cooperative Extension Web sites.

TAGS: Management
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