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UW-Madison Joins Initiative to Cut Emissions in Dairy Industry
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/07/2021

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has become a partner in a new multi-state, multi-institution project to help cut greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. dairy industry. The project, funded in part through a $10 million grant from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, seeks to support U.S. dairy's Net Zero Initiative as a critical on-farm pathway to advance the industry-wide 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals that were set through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

The funding will support a six-year project, which is titled 'Dairy Soil & Water Regeneration: building soil health to reduce greenhouse gases, improve water quality and enable new economic benefits.' The goal is to produce data to be broadly shared among the dairy community to provide measurement-based assessments of dairy's greenhouse gas footprint for feed production and set the stage for new market opportunities related to carbon, water quality and soil health.

UW-Madison is a key partner in the project. Researchers and staff will participate by conducting field studies in Wisconsin to measure environmental responses to various crop management interventions aimed at building soil health, reducing greenhouse gases, improving water quality and enabling new economic opportunities for dairies.

The school is establishing two experiments at Arlington Agricultural Research Station addressing how treated manure combined with cover crops affects soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, and nitrogen dynamics. They will also collaborate with Kinnard Farms in Kewaunee County and the Soil Health Institute across a range of farms.

The funds from the grant will be managed by the Dairy Research Institute, a non-profit entity founded and staffed by Dairy Management Inc. to conduct vital research on behalf of the industry. DMI scientists will serve as the project leads to address research gaps in feed production and manure-based fertilizers that, once filled, will enable new markets, incentives and investments in dairy sustainability.

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