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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