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University of New Hampshire scientists to study cow burps . . . and more

CLYNTON NAMUO New Hampshire Union Leader 11/06/2010 05:33
University of New Hampshire scientists to study cow burps . . . and more - USA - New Hampshire - Science - environment


University of New Hampshire and outside researchers are creating a computer model to help organic dairy farmers cut greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, because Beano probably isn't an option.



Nitrogen- and carbon-based greenhouse gases are produced via a complicated system at dairy farms that is affected by everything from the weather to the soil to the feed to cow burps, among other things.

"Cows emit most of their methane through belching, only a small fraction from flatulence," said the project's principal investigator, Ruth Varner of UNH's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space.

UNH has been awarded a $700,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to create a computer model that measures the amount of greenhouse gases an organic dairy farm produces and thus provide ways to cut those emissions.

Varner said the study will focus on the waste streams at farms. Using UNH's own organic dairy farm as a testing ground, researchers will measure things like how spreading manure on pastures will affect the amount of greenhouse gases produced.


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