As we continue looking for ways to reduce greenhouses gases and recover excess nutrients from manure and put them to use where they are beneficial, one frequently faces the conundrum of how to do it and do it right.
Water quality trading (WQT) was introduced in the 1960s, and it’s a great concept. Since its introduction, WQT has been tried approximately 60 times around the world, but mostly here in the United States.
Chicago retailer Marshall Field famously said, “Give the lady what she wants.” A related axiom is “The customer is always right.” Here’s more good business advice: “Don’t insult your customers” and “Play it straight with consumers.”
To reduce GHG emissions further, all segments of the dairy industry must optimize efficiency. That means increasing milk yield per cow, reducing enteric emissions, improving manure handling, optimizing breeding and enhancing cow comfort.
In 2008, the dairy industry made a voluntary commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2020 – a lofty goal, to say the least. In fact, it is remarkable to think how far we have already come since 1944.
Land O' Lakes Inc. has worked to reduce its environmental footprint through resource conservation, transportation, logistics and manufacturing efficiencies, and renewable energy on the farm, according to the company's 2014 Corporate Responsibility report.
Dairy processors reduce their costs and environmental footprints in a number of ways. Hilmar Cheese received a U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for its efforts. Land O’Lakes and Aurora Organic have their own approaches.