Feeding Cows Differently Could Lower Their Emissions By 30 Percent says a new UN study, reports Katie Valentine at Climate Progress. Their emissions (burps, farts, and manure) are a significant global source of methane, a short-term but much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. More easily-digestible feeds can reduce the amount of methane generated by cows, and better breeding techniques and maintenance of animals’ health can reduce the unproductive animals in a herd. Better soil management on grazing lands can increase the pasture’s ability to act as a carbon sink. For pigs and poultry, the report found that using precision feeding, instead of overfeeding them nutrient-deficient foods, and switching to less energy-intensive feed sources can help reduce emissions. Recycling manure as fertilizer also helps, and improving the processing and shipping of livestock feed, corn and soy. A promising new cattle feed is tropical grasses called brachiaria, which naturally inhibit the release of nitrous oxide — a gas which, according to the FAO, is responsible for 29 percent of livestock’s emissions. Finally, cutting down on meat consumption in general, would be a big help.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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