Dairy Farmers Switch Feed to Curb Burps
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2009 3:01 PM CDT
This June 16, 2009 photo shows a Holstein cow at Coventry Valley Farm in Coventry, Vt.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
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(Newser) – Vermont dairy farmers are changing their cows’ diets in an effort to fight climate change, the AP reports. Milk production accounts for 2% of the country’s greenhouse gases, the vast majority of which comes from the methane-rich burps of cattle. Now, 16 farms working with Stonyfield Farm Inc. are feeding their cows a gas-reducing mix of flaxseed, alfalfa, and grasses instead of soy and corn.

"It's just the right thing to do," an industry rep says. One farm has already reduced belching by 18%, and there are plenty of other benefits to the new feed mix. The cows’ coats look shinier, and they have fewer foot and stomach problems. Plus, it hasn’t cost the farmers a dime extra.