California Wants Farms To Capture Methane From Cow Manure; Neighbors Don't

"At a massive dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley, nearly 14,000 Holstein cows crane their necks through feeding stalls and gnaw leisurely on alfalfa.

Meanwhile, close to their hooves, a sprinkler system activates and flushes the herd's manure into nearby sewer grates. From there, the waste courses through a network of pipes and into an enormous lagoon covered by a thick vinyl tarp.

This enclosed pool, which looks something like a giant whoopee cushion, is known as a digester, and it's the cornerstone of California's bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its $7.5-billion dairy industry.

California—the nation's leading dairy-producing state—is home to 1.7 million milk cows, which belch and excrete copious amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas capable of warming the atmosphere 80 times more than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period."

Tony Briscoe reports for the Los Angeles Times December 5, 2023.

Source: LA Times, 12/13/2023