In the "Golden State" of California, dairy products are truly gold. It is the state's number one agricultural commodity. So, why would anyone in their right mind want to jeopardize this proverbial cash cow. Leave it to Governor Brown and the State Legislature of California to do just that.
In an effort to control the State's methane gas production from dairy cows, and save the world from climate change, farmers in the state must now control the methane production caused by cows. In fact, by 2030, they must reduce the methane from cow farts and manure to levels that are 40% less than the measured levels of 2013.
The insanity of this law is that it isn't achievable, and it places a high financial burden on dairy farmers in the state.
Now, according to NASA, atmospheric methane production breaks down as follows:
Now, methane reduction from manure is achievable. But, at a high cost. This can be done by building anaerobic digesters. Manure must be collected and placed in a custom airtight chamber and through a process of fermentation, a flammable gas is produced and contained. Then, that gas is used to produce electricity that is sold back to the local electric utility. In doing so, they lose the composting of manure that produced a high quality fertilizer that was used to enhance the feed in their grazing fields. But, more importantly, there's the cost for "digesters". Costs range from $1000 to 2000 per cow; depending on the size of the dairy farm. Since there are 1.8 million head of dairy cows in the state, at best case ($1000 per cow), farmers would have to spend $1.8 billion in compliance. $3.6 billion, worst case. Since there are roughly 1500 farmers in the state, the average farmer will have to spend at least $1.2 million dollars to have a digester built on their property. California dairy farmers are already losing money due to the drought and this added expense could see the shutdown of this industry in a State where farmers are already going bankrupt or moving elsewhere.
This is a perfect example of climate zealots not thinking about their actions. Blinded by ideology, they are going to bring a lot of pain to a lot of people. Then there is the consumer who will suffer higher prices for milk and milk products.
Cow farts can now be regulated in California: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/09/20/cow-farts-can-now-be-regulated-in-california.html
California's New Cow Fart Regulations Totally Stink: http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/30/californias-new-cow-fart-regulations-tot
Source of Chart: Atmospheric Methane: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane
Anaerobic Digestion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_digestion
Cost of Anaerobic Digesters: http://articles.extension.org/pages/19461/economics-of-anaerobic-digesters-for-processing-animal-manure
Economy of California: http://www.netstate.com/economy/ca_economy.htm
Udder Confusion: Dairy Digester Development in California: http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/12062/udder-confusion-dairy-digester-development-in-california
California losing dairies, cows, production as prices fall: http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20160517/california-losing-dairies-cows-production-as-prices-fall
California Livestock and Dairy: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/statistics/pdfs/2013/LivestockandDairy.pdf