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Dairy Industry Surveys Farmers About Green Initiatives

cows.jpgIn a first step towards increasing sustainability in the dairy industry, dairy farmers are being asked to complete a survey on what they are doing to reduce emissions, Capital Press reports.

The 16-page survey is expected to arrive at farms by the end of the month. It was commissioned by Dairy Management Inc., with support from National Milk Producers Federation and dairy co-ops across the country.

The survey will give the dairy industry a starting point for initiatives that will have environmental and economical goals, Richard Naczi of Dairy Management Inc. told Capital Press.  In addition, the survey is expected to determine a baseline for GHG emissions from dairies and provide the industry insight into the carbon footprint for a gallon of milk.

Last year, Mike Hutjens, a dairy specialist from University of Illinois Extension, said the carbon footprint of dairy has dropped from 31 pounds in 1944 to 12 pounds per gallon in 2007.

In the UK, some farmers have put their cows on a special diet in order to reduce GHG emissions.

As consumers’ green awareness grows, more companies are revealing the carbon footprint of their products. Just this week, PepsiCo announced that a 64-ounce container of its Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice has a life-cycle carbon footprint of 1.7 kilograms. U.K.’s Tesco, France’s Casino, and the Japanese government are all testing carbon footprint labels.

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