California Adds Regulation to Cow Produded Methane

Just feed them large quantities of Bean-o.:slight_smile:

It might be just as well, for other reasons.

It is my understanding there is a huge industry in California in government-subsidized irrigated alfalfa growing, most of which is fed to dairy animals. If the liberals in California don’t want dairying in their state, then perhaps the government could save money and dairymen in parts of the country more suited to dairying could sell their milk in California.

Why should dairy be different from any other industry that pollutes?
I live in upstate NY which has a large dairy industry and I have cousins who are farmers but I don’t see why farmers should be exempt.

Would people be so upset if methane belching power plants were subjected to new regulations?

I do know that there would be fewer dairy farms and cattle if it weren’t for state and federal subsidies distorting the market.

But for subsidies, there would be fewer dairy farms, but I don’t know that there would be fewer cattle. Beef raising is not subsidized. Not only is it not subsidized, it is regulated in ways foreign producer-competitors are not regulated.

Now, if all subsidies were removed from dairying, there would be a net reduction of cattle numbers in some places, but certainly not in all. California is unusual in that a lot of the dairy industry is truly “agri-business” on a large scale. Cattle there are fed expensive hay like alfalfa which is itself subsidized by the government. Take away government subsidized for irrigation and much of the dairy industry in California would collapse.

But in much of the rest of the nation, it’s not like that. If the dairy cattle went away in most places, they would simply be replaced by beef cattle. And even if the beef cattle were all gotten rid of, other ruminants would simply take their place. About 1/3 of the useable land in the U.S. is grassland, fit for nothing else. Nature abhors a vaccum, and would fill empty fields with wild ruminants over time.

One recalls that it is estimated before Columbus there were approximately as many buffalo in the U.S. as there are now cattle. In addition to the buffalo, there were elk, mountain sheep and other ruminants, all belching out methane. So, eventually, getting rid of cattle would accomplish nothing.

But if the main effort is going to be in processing manure, it’s probably less methane-producing for cattle to simply defecate in grassy fields than it is to try to denature it in some artificial way. Cow manure in a field dries out very quickly, with most of the moisture going into the ground. Dung beetles and other insects consume a good part of the remainder, and the rest simply becomes part of the ground in about two years. Hard for me to imagine a better system than that.

But, of course, in animal confinement facilities like they have in California, it doesn’t work that way. Maybe Californians simply ought to buy milk from places where it’s not so costly in terms of subsidies and manure processing.

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