Are Cow Farts Destroying the Planet?

About a dozen years ago, I was sitting in a conference next to John Waller, an Animal Nutritionist on the faculty at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.  It was about the time that folks were in an uproar over the fact that government money had been spent for, of all things, measuring cow farts!  John happened to have been one of the researchers on the project and we were laughing as he described the research and how he had explained to congressional aides what they had done, what they'd found, and why it was important. Since then, we've all heard about dangerous methane in  cow farts and burps and the potential for damaging the atmosphere.  Research is ongoing into how to breed animals that burp less, forages we can feed them that reduce "emissions," and there are even manure management tools that decrease greenhouse gases and allow us to use poop's methane to produce electricity for farm use.  Who would have thought there'd be so much effort related to bathroom humor, right? What's Up With Methane? U.S. Methane emissions by source, from the "Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011."[/captio

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3 thoughts on “Are Cow Farts Destroying the Planet?

  1. I certainly prefer the terms “flatus” and “eructation” in public discourse. Thank you.

  2. Australian research has demonstrated that microbes in well managed pasture consume much more methane per day than the cattle produce, so methane production on pasture may not be problem at all.

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