A Resource to Help Northeast Dairy Farmers Improve the Sustainability of their Dairy Environmental Systems

by Jason Oliver
Improving dairy environmental systems management can help farms adapt to a changing climate while reducing environmental degradation, maintaining profitability, and strengthening community relations. The PRO-DAIRY program’s Dairy Environmental Systems webpage is resource for small and large dairy farms alike interested in improved sustainability.
PRO-DAIRY is a NYS dairy industry applied research/educational program focused on the viability Northeast dairy farms offering business, production, and environmental management support. The Dairy Environmental Systems team is a engineering, applied research, science, and outreach program under the PRO-DAIRY umbrella, dedicated to improved dairy sustainability. The Dairy Environmental Systems webpage includes over 35 case studies on progressive farm manure management systems, several economic assessment tools, resources for improved nutrient management, and many Fact Sheets on topics such as:

  • Manure handling systems
  • Composting
  • Manure storages
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Greenhouse gases and C-credits
  • Nutrient management
  • Environmental regulations
  • Farm Safety

These resources are regularly updated with Fact Sheets on biofiltration, hydrogen sulfide scrubbers, and biogas combustion emissions currently in development.
Several ongoing and exciting new projects include:

  • A national collaborative effort looking at animal agriculture in a changing climate to study and develop adaptation strategies for dairy and other livestock production systems.
  • Projects investigating the use of waste heat from biogas combustion for conductive cooling of dairy animals and for the heating of commercial greenhouse systems.
  • A regional, northeastern collaborative effort studying the environmental transport of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria from dairy manure into the environment/food system and the efficacy of manure management system at mitigating these pollutants.

To learn more about these upcoming projects, the research team and to access the web-based resources, go to: www.manuremanagement.cornell.edu
For more information on PRO-DAIRY programs, go to: www.prodairy.cals.cornell.edu

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Tara Hammonds

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