Climate & Environment

Dairy farms are continually working towards overall sustainability. Compared to farms in 1960 today's dairy farms are on average producing almost three times more milk with about half the number of cows thanks to genetic improvements, better feed nutrition, and improved cow comfort, including reduced heat stress, better ventilation and stall design, as well as other management practices. Farmers are evaluating how they can reduce potential externalities, including air quality impacts, water quality impacts, and any impact on microbial resistance.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are increasingly important due to their tie to climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many other agencies have performed research to quantify where most emissions come from and where we can reduce them. Leading scientists throughout the U.S., as well as the EPA, have quantified the impacts of livestock production in the U.S., which accounts for 4.2 percent of all GHG emissions.

Odor and emissions from dairy operations are an environmental and societal concern. While addressing odor is a neighbor relations concern, emissions such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are potential health, air quality, and regulatory concerns.