California dairies feed seaweed to reduce greenhouse gas emmissions

Photo courtesy of Envato Elements

From staff reports

Seaweed may be one tool that dairy producers can use to combat climate change and greenhouse gas emissions from cow burps.

The California dairy industry is leading the way in feeding seaweed that the California Department of Food and Agriculture has approved. Blue Ocean farms of Hawaii are producing feed that has been studied and proven to cut emissions from cows by 52% based on a 50 day trial. The red seaweed supplement is available on a limited scale, but Blue Ocean is working to produce larger quantities to meet demand. The feed supplement will be released for commercial use this summer and for conventional dairy cattle and in 2023 for organic. In studies so far, it has not changed the taste of the milk. Testing is also being done on beef cattle and so far, tests show that there is an 82% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle burps being fed the seaweed. 

California has a law on the books that, SB 32 that extends a prior law to reduce state greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

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