Knowledge for better food systems

Dairy's Carbon Footprint Drops to 12 Pounds Per Gallon

A press release issued by Illinois University Extension services says that "the GHG footpring of dairy farming has dropped from 31 pounds CO2e per gallon in 1944 to 12 pounds per gallon in 2007." For non-Americans and/or the metrically inclined this works out as a change from 3.68 kg CO2e / litre to 1.42 kg CO2e/litre.
A press release issued by Illinois University Extension services says that "the GHG footpring of dairy farming has dropped from 31 pounds CO2e per gallon in 1944 to 12 pounds per gallon in 2007." For non-Americans and/or the metrically inclined this works out as a change from 3.68 kg CO2e / litre to 1.42 kg CO2e/litre. The press release largely draws on a paper published by the the US National Academy of science that finds that improvements in milk production efficiency could lead to positive impacts on the environment. It also finds that switching to organic milk production would require 25 percent more cows than now used, 30 percent more land for feed production, 39 percent more nitrogen excretion, and a 13 percent increase in global warming potential. The paper in question can be found attached below. It is actually an analysis of the environmental impacts of recombinant bovine somatrophin (rBST) and concludes: Overall, rbST appears to represent a valuable management tool for use in dairy production to improve productive efficiency and to have less negative effects on the environment than conventional dairying. However, the paper makes no mention of the serious downsides of rBST for animal welfare. A analysis of these welfare implications was undertaken in 1999 by by the EU Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (SCAHAW) and is set out in its report on "Animal welfare aspects of the use of BovineSomatotrophin" is also attached below.
 

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