Climate & Environment

Climate and weather are an important management concern for animal agriculture. The intent of this web page is to assist those involved in animal agriculture to prepare and respond to current weather and the potential for a changing climate.

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 & Air Quality

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. Odor and emissions can come from three primary source locations on a dairy farm: animal facilities, manure storages, and land application of manure.

Environmental health

Antibiotics are chemicals that kill or impede bacterial growth. Parallel to their use and importance for human health, antibiotics are important medicines used on dairy farms to prevent and treat bovine bacterial infections. When antibiotics are administered to dairy cattle, milk and meat withholding times are strictly followed to prevent antibiotic residues from entering the food system.

Antibiotic Resistance (AR) is a naturally occurring process where previously susceptible bacteria develop the ability to resist the effects of an antibiotic. The use of both human and veterinary antibiotics has accelerated antibiotic-resistant bacteria development.

Information found on this page was developed under USDA funding that supports work to investigate and report on the efficacy of dairy manure treatment systems to mitigate antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

a diagram showing the process of antimicrobial resistance