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While milk consumption is down, cheese is up nearly 30%. In states like Wisconsin, opposition to some large operations is growing after manure spills and improper handling of waste have contaminated waterways and aquifers. Almost half came from beef and dairy cattle, while just over a fifth came from pig and poultry farms. Unpublished figures obtained by the Bureau show there were 424 serious pollution incidents linked to dairy, poultry and pig farms between 2010 and 2016, part of a wider pattern of farm-related pollution that saw more than 3,700 incidents over the same period. Wisconsin embodies this consolidation trend. Choosing to eat meat and dairy products from animals that are raised on pasture-based farms is a good start. The production of meat and dairy is set to pass the oil industry as the world’s leading polluter. The steady rise of large-scale dairy operations, he said, has been “fueled by cheap fuel and cheap feed,” adding, “More is not always better.”, Elizabeth Grossman is the author of Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry, High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health, and other books. “There are stellar operators of all sizes,” he says. But as demand for dairy grows, so does its impact. Cows that give more milk per cow also produce more manure and per-cow milk production has almost doubled since the 1970s. On small farms, the ratio of cows to pasture land generally allows for a sustainable nitrogen balance. As I arrived cows munched clover in the barnyard, near the Bansens’ front door. Fitzgerald’s organization stresses the need for nutrient and water quality management plans tailored for each operation, and says dairy is “one of the most regulated and inspected industries in agriculture.” She also touts the industry’s voluntary commitment to “best practices” and improving its environmental footprint, including its 2008 commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent. In areas of high agricultural activity where fertilizer use is high, this percentage rises to about 30 percent, said Phelps. groundwater pollution due to farming (both in general and more specifically to dairying) is however largely unquantified; • air (see sub-section 5.3.6): the impact of dairying on the atmosphere arises from de-nitrification, the Run-off from dairy farms and other agricultural activities has seeped into aquifers and elevated levels of nitrogen, in some instances to unsafe concentrations; in one recent case, the Wisconsin Department of Justice levied a $65,000 fine against a dairy operation for contaminating groundwater. Dairy farm pollution poses a health risk to humans. And what happens to this manure is at the heart of the pollution issues surrounding the dairy industry. Roughly a third of those spills came from large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs. While livestock do currently play a role in producing greenhouse gas emissions, the estimates have been argued to be a misrepresentation. The goal of such plans include preventing application of more nutrients than a farm’s soil can absorb and making sure it’s applied when it won’t easily run off, as in winter when the ground is frozen. In states like Wisconsin, opposition to some large operations is growing after manure spills and improper handling of waste have contaminated waterways and aquifers. WWF is working to limit that impact, improve sustainable production practices, scale up innovative technologies, and cut waste. Wheeler notes that dairies have typically spread manure on their own fields to fertilize forage and other crops or contracted with other farms to do so. Amount of manure and urine produced daily by a dairy cow. The number of U.S. dairy operations with 2,000 or more cows has grown faster than those of any other size as milk production has increased about 20 percent. NICK SMITH may be … But the majority of U.S. dairy herds are confined to barns throughout their entire lives and shuttle between stalls and milking parlors in enclosed corrals and corridors and eat silage and grain grown elsewhere. Based on one tonne of coal producing 2.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide, Fonterra's factories pump out 1.17 million tonnes of the climate warming gas, making it … Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Improperly managed, manure emits greenhouse gases, pollutes water and air, and damages wildlife habitats. Dairy farms are adding to air pollution by keeping larger herds and confining them inside all year, scientists have said.Ammonia, which is mainly emitted by slurry and fertiliser on farms, is the only Porous karst soils in the parts of Wisconsin where a significant portion of dairy expansion is occurring present some unique environmental issues. DAVID SILVERMAN/GETTY IMAGES, As Dairy Farms Grow Bigger, New Concerns About Pollution, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 15 million gallons of manure, water, and other matter, per-cow milk production has almost doubled, Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry, High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health, As South Africa Clings to Coal, A Struggle for the Right to Breathe, Equitable Retreat: The Need for Fairness in Relocating Coastal Communities, At Sea and in Court, the Fight to Save Right Whales Intensifies, Learning How to Talk: What Climate Activists Must Do in the Biden Era. Too much in surface water can create algae blooms that result in hypoxic or oxygen-deprived dead zones According to the EPA, excess nutrients from agriculture, including chemical fertilizers and dairy manure, are a major source of water pollution across the US. “We’ve kind of taken Mother Nature out of the picture,” says John Haarsma, manager of Rickreall Dairy, an Oregon operation with 3,500 cows. While emissions from the global dairy sector increased by 18% between 2005 and 2015, the US dairy sector reduced its emissions by 5% overall. Erin Fitzgerald, senior vice president for sustainability at the Innovation Center for US Dairy, a trade group, says a dairy’s size does not determine how well its environmental impacts are managed. Residents opposing the DNR permit contend that it lacks sufficient information about how the dairy will manage the tens of millions of gallons of liquid manure its cows will produce. Questions about manure management have prompted opposition to a number of Wisconsin dairy operations’ plans for large or expanded herds. The source has not been pinpointed, but numerous studies suggest that CAFOs, through their use of pesticides and hormones, are a source of some estrogenic compounds that enter U.S. drinking water. In Yakima, Washington, the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment and the Center for Food Safety allege in an ongoing lawsuit now in federal court that manure spreading by five large dairies has caused nitrate and other contamination of groundwater and violates the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Number of dairy cows in the world (9.3 million are in the US). India produces the most, about 20% of the world’s supply. At the same time, the overall number of dairy farms dropped by about a third, just as they have nationwide. Dairy operations can also be significant contributors to water pollution and soil degradation when manure and feed crop production are poorly managed. While the FAO used a life cycle assessment of animal agriculture (i.e. • According to the EPA, a 2,000-cow dairy generates more than 240,000 pounds of manure daily or nearly 90 million pounds a year. A serious incident is one "likely to have a major or significant impact on the environment". One day this winter, I visited one of the dwindling number of smaller U.S. dairies —Double J Jerseys, a 200-cow dairy operation in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Average per-person dairy consumption in the US in 2017—about 14% more than 20 years ago. Amount of milk produced by cows, buffalo, and other livestock worldwide in 2017. Some recent cases include: In one of the larger cases of manure pollution in recent years, an estimated 15 million gallons of manure, water, and other matter spilled in 2010 into a slough that drains into the Snohomish River in Washington state, when a berm on a dairy farm’s manure lagoon failed. In 2017, the average American consumed 217 pounds of meat—a number up 15 pounds from just three years prior—and the number is expected to be even higher this year. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has published facts about American livestock farm pollution, and the data is sickening. Most of California's dairy farms are in the Central Valley, which suffers from both air and water pollution. Scrub where sheep once grazed is being given over to intensive dairy farms—some of them irrigated to help the pasture grow. Excess is typically stored in lagoons. Asia Nov 16th 2017 edition. The plaintiffs contend that the way the manure is being applied is the equivalent of dumping solid waste, an activity covered by RCRA that has not previously been applied to manure spreading. Manure also contains pathogens that may include E.coli and other fecal coliforms. State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) figures show the number of Wisconsin dairy farms with more than 500 cows grew by about 150 percent in the past decade. In Wisconsin, several dairy operations are now facing opposition to plans to expand their herds.
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