Dairy Teams Seek Greener Cow Burps

Methane production drops after farms adopt new feed
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 5, 2009 9:26 AM CDT
Cows eating a new feed are producing less methane.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Cow belches have been called a bigger environmental threat than cars and trucks—and now dairy groups are taking steps to keep dangerous burps to a minimum, the New York Times reports. One Vermont farmer has seen his cows’ methane emissions drop 18% after boosting the alfalfa and flaxseed in their feed, while methane has plummeted some 30% in France, where industrial farms are using alternative feed.

The Vermont farmer—one of 15 taking part in a pilot program being run by the Stonyfield Farms yogurt company—says the feed change hasn’t hurt milk production, and his cows are “healthier and happier.” They have better breath, too. A French firm is working with Stonyfield to expand the pilot program in the US.