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Dairy and Dairy Biogas GHG

The dairy industry is being challenged to reduce its environmental impact while continuing to improve productivity and profitability. Accurate on-farm measures that farmers can implement to reduce the carbon footprint of milk (CFM) production in a transparent and scientifically valid way are needed. In a recent analysis we showed a reduction of 22% in the CFM production in Ontario over the last 20 years. However, a difference of 53% between counties suggests that there are overall opportunities for reduction of the CFM. With funding from OMAFRA/Univ. of Guelph partnership we are conducting a farm-level study targeted at establishing targets for the Ontario dairy industry for GHG emission reductions, and show how they could be achieved.  In a complementary project funded by OMAFRA-BMPDV program we are integrating results from field studies on GHG emissions from dairy biogas systems considering the life cycle from barn to field application of digestate, including fugitive methane emissions, and will quantify the potential GHG reductions reduction BMPs along the life cycle of anaerobic digester energy production.