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California air regulators were convinced that volatile fatty acid losses from silage piles in the state’s San Joaquin Valley were large enough to impact air quality in the valley.

HANFORD — A landmark methane reduction law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week has local dairy farmers wondering how they’ll achieve the goal.

The bill is likely to require dairies to cut their manure methane emissions to 60 percent of 2013 levels by 2030.

Dairies previously had been regulated for volatile organic compounds coming from silage that contribute to local air pollution, but this is the first time that nitty-gritty regulations for methane have been specifically spelled out in legislation designed to combat climate change.

By Jed Kim (NPR)

California is renewing its leadership in combating climate change with a bill signed yesterday by Governor Jerry Brown. The law takes aim at reducing short-lived climate pollutants, which include methane.

California’s dairies produce about 20 percent of the nation’s milk supply. They also produce high quantities of methane, which seeps from manure or escapes in cow flatulence. The bill requires a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2024.



The sun does more than grow the feed for the dairy cows supplying Joseph Farms cheese. It provides electricity for pumps, coolers and other equipment at the farm.


I drove out past Merced last year to see a dairy farmer testing a new idea. He irrigated 40 acres of feed corn with drip lines, which are much more common in orchards and vineyards than annual crops.


The rumbling of a tank-sized generator on the grounds of the Van Warmerdam Dairy is a sound of relief for the longtime farming family.

It’s a signal that the Van Warmerdams won’t have to change the way they do business much to comply with the looming air quality regulations that aim to slash the sizable carbon footprint of California’s dairy industry.


Moving to expand California’s already-sweeping efforts to blunt climate change, lawmakers on Tuesday sent Gov. Jerry Brown legislation to limit methane from sources like landfills and dairies.

Much of the debate around climate change policies has focused on the climate-altering effects of burning petroleum. But gases known as “short-lived climate pollutants,” like methane, can have powerful effects even as they dissipate relatively quickly.

By Jennifer Heguy, University of California Cooperative Extension

We’ve received a grant to look at the viability of sorghum silage in California dairy systems. This summer, we are looking to work with dairies that are growing sorghum for silage. Below you will find the goals and objectives of the project; to make it simple, I’ve included what we’re looking to do in this first year.

We’re looking for dairies to participate this summer. This entails:

1. Filling out a sorghum silage management survey – information from field to feed-out

KPCC  August 5, 2016


Southern California Gas Company has promised to offset the environmental damage from its big Porter Ranch natural gas leak. But local environmentalists and politicians are not happy with recent indications the company wants to do that mitigation work far from Los Angeles.


Swarms of tricolored blackbirds once blocked out the sun in California. Now the population has plummeted so much that last year the bird became a candidate for the California Endangered Species List. Valley Public Radio's Ezra David Romero reports on efforts to keep the bird from disappearing.

EZRA DAVID ROMERO, BYLINE: West of Fresno, on Steve Shehadey's dairy, there are 7,000 cows and 7,000 tricolored blackbirds.

STEVE SHEHADEY: You can drive out here any time and you'll see colonies of birds pecking at insects, looking for food.