The California Department of Food and Agriculture grant is part of its overall Alternative Manure Management Program which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dairy farms and livestock operations in the state. According to the CDFA, a total of $9.64 million was distributed to 17 projects.
“California dairy farmers are leading the way in proactively addressing greenhouse gas emissions” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a news release. “I am excited to see both the diversity of farms and the variety of nondigester manure management practices being adopted through these projects that will help meet the state’s climate goals.”
According to the CDFA, when livestock manure decomposes in wet conditions, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 72 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Changing manure management practices so that manure is handled in a dry form can help significantly reduce methane emissions. These reductions contribute to the state’s climate pollutant strategy under Senate Bill 1383, which aims to reduce California’s methane emissions to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.
The Regli Jerseys Dairy CH4 Gas Busters Project consists of converting from a fully scraped manure system to incorporating a solid separation and composting system, according to the project statment. The project includes building a compost-bedded pack barn, installing concrete foundations and curbing for manure separation, storage and compost production, as well as decommissioning one manure pond. The compost will be applied to pastures as a soil amendment.
Also receiving grant funding is Alexandre EcoDairy Farms, owned by Blake and Stephanie Alexandre who operate farms in both Humboldt and Del Norte counties. According to the CDFA, the Del Norte County dairy will be receiving just under $750,000 to construct a compost-bedded pack barn.
“Dairy young stock are reared in a combination of hutches and concreted alley-ways that are flushed several times a day into a manure separation system, by where liquids and solids are separated,” according to the project stateent. “Solids are stored and composted while liquids are gravity fed into three lagoons that are aerated. Aerated liquids are applied to pastures over time, outside rainy periods, which can be infrequent do to high annual rainfall in Del Norte County.
For more information about the Alternative Manure Management Projects, visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/AAMP/.