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How to save US dairy - Economy and climate

This report from US thinktank The Breakthrough Institute suggests federal policy pathways to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of dairy farming in the United States. It estimates the potential job creation and climate mitigation potential of each proposal and finds that, together, the policy proposals could save and create tens of thousands of jobs, while also reducing dairy sector greenhouse gas emissions by tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The policy options include:

  1. Aligning dairy supply with domestic and international demand by 1) increasing funding for export programmes and 2) creating a supply management programme to prevent overproduction of dairy.
  2. Facilitating dairy farm diversification and transitions by 1) forgiving and restructuring debt, 2) facilitating equipment and cattle sales, and 3) providing technical assistance.
  3. Increasing adoption of financially and environmentally beneficial manure management by 1) promoting deployment and third-party ownership of anaerobic digesters and 2) creating a grant programme to support the adoption of non-digester best manure management practices.

Read the full report, How to Save US Dairy: Immediate Aid and Long-Term Solutions, here or here (PDF link). See also the Foodsource chapter Focus: the difficult livestock issue.

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