As a part of the Day One Project created by the Federation of American Scientists to encourage the science community to create implementation-ready policy proposals, Spark team members, Dr. David (Doc) Brown and Charles Brooke have written a policy proposal to increase US research and development funding to improve animal productivity, address greenhouse gases, and hasten additional market solutions. You can read the full proposal here.
Cattle in the United States release the greenhouse gas methane (known as “enteric methane”) from their digestive systems, which is equivalent to the amount of methane that leaks from fossil fuel infrastructure. Addressing enteric methane in cattle represents an opportunity to reduce the U.S. greenhouse gas footprint by 3% and simultaneously improve cattle productivity by ~6%. However, current solutions only address, at most, 10% of these emissions, and the U.S. has spent under $5m per year on R&D over the past five years to address this critical climate area. Therefore, to establish long-term U.S. leadership and export competitiveness, we recommend regulatory simplification and an $82m per year U.S. Department of Agriculture research and innovation program. These common-sense recommendations would create a win for producers and a win for the environment by advancing solutions that easily drop into existing farm practices and convert avoided methane into increased milk and meat production.
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