SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced that 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 totaling $16.5 million and 13 AMMP projects totaling $8.9 million are being funded through the awards announced today. The collective projects will reduce an estimated 191,360 metric tons of greenhouse gases (MTCO2e) per year and contribute $32 million in matching funds.
Dairy manure produces methane when it decomposes. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas (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.
These GHG reduction approaches collectively contribute to the state’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy under Senate Bill 1383, which aims to reduce California’s methane emissions from the dairy and livestock sector to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.
Financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters and non-digester projects comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses Cap-and-Trade program funds to support the state’s climate goals. CDFA and other state agencies are investing these proceeds in projects that reduce GHG emissions and provide additional benefits to California communities, such as job creation. CDFA administers these and other Climate Smart Agriculture programs within its Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation.
The Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website.
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