Climate Change Research
Impacts of climate change on livestock production are both direct and indirect. Major concerns for farmers are how extreme weather events will affect the quality and quantity of feed production from pasture and other crops, and how animals will adapt to environmental stresses. Cattle contribute to global warming because they produce greenhouse gases through enteric fermentation (digestion). Reducing these omissions particularly methane, is one way to reduce the contribution from livestock to climate change. Scientists at KBS are using the Pasture Dairy Center to study the relationships between greenhouse gas emissions, farming practices and milk production. Climate change research at the Pasture Dairy Center includes:
- How methane and carbon dioxide production from dairy cows is affected by feed and forage quality.
- How to decrease the carbon footprint of dairy farmers through management practices that reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon storage in pastures.
- How grazing affects plant biodiversity, productivity and other ecosystem processes in pastures.