Cow manure is worth more than its milk in California

California farmers are starting to make more money selling their cow manure than milk, as reported by local outlet The Fresno Bee.

Apparently, cattle excreta would have revalued in recent years after several energy companies use it to obtain biogas from the methane they emit and, most importantly, for an aid plan for the well-known Cap-and-Trade Program of the State of California , which economically encourages the use of clean energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The program, in place since 2011, and other state aid to protect the environment have attracted energy companies interested in obtaining biogas from manure to California, as they have made it a very profitable business thanks to the subsidies. In the beginning, these companies bought the excrement and were in charge of processing it, but in recent years farmers have discovered that if they build the facilities to treat it themselves, they can multiply their profits by six.

In fact, The Fresno Bee points out that by selling manure to energy companies, a farmer can earn about $100 a year per cow, while if he processes the manure himself for biogas, he can earn about $600 a year per year. animal.

cows, cattle, milk, methane, biogas, manure, energy

an environmental problem

Both energy companies and now farms use anaerobic digestion to obtain methane, carbon dioxide and other biogases. For this process, it is necessary to have large “tanks” of waste, which are covered with a canvas so that, in the process of decomposition, the gases that are channeled to the tanks where they are stored can emanate.

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The problem is that these anaerobic digestion systems harm the quality of air and water, and the increase in the number and concentration of cattle as a consequence of the growing benefits they provide to farmers deteriorates the ecosystem.

Consequently, pollution is increasing in the areas where these farms are located, especially in the San Joaquin Valley area, and regulations created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, paradoxically, are contributing to harm the environment.


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