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California manure management projects awarded $25.4 million


The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)  announced yesterday it has awarded nearly $25.4 million in grant funding to methane reduction projects across the state. These projects, part of the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure on California dairy and livestock farms.

Twelve DDRDP projects totalling $16.5 million and 13 AMMP projects totalling $8.9 million are being funded through the awards. The collective projects will reduce an estimated 191,360 metric tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) per year and contribute $32 million in matching funds.

Methane is a powerful GHG that traps 25 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide within a 100-year timeframe, contributing to global warming. Dairy digesters help capture methane emissions and use them to produce electricity or natural gas. Changing manure management practices so that manure is handled in a dry form (AMMP) also helps to significantly reduce methane emissions.

“The dairy digester awards allow California’s dairy families to secure a revenue stream though production of clean renewable energy while also helping California meet its ambitious goals for a clean energy future,” said CDFA secretary Karen Ross.

“The digester program helps farmers contribute to the state’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts by capturing methane, and the alternative manure management projects offer a suite of other options for dairy and livestock farmers, like staying on pasture longer or compost pack barns, especially in cases where the economics of a large renewable energy infrastructure may not work for their farms.”

Since 2015, 235 dairy families in California have participated and contributed to methane reduction efforts through the AMMP and DDRDP programs, including the 2020 awarded projects. Together, all DDRDP and AMMP projects reduce an estimated 2.3 million metric tons of GHGs per year, which is equivalent to removing more than 495,000 cars from the road.