ALTERNATIVE MANURE MANAGEMENT
California dairy farms are preventing the production of methane and using manure nutrients wisely.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) provides financial assistance for California dairy farm families as they reduce methane emissions through a variety of technologies and strategies.
A total of 140 AMMP projects have been awarded grants to date. Projects selected include mechanical solids-liquid separation with drying, conversion of flush systems to scrape with dry manure storage or composting, and compost pack barns.
At least 40 additional, privately-funded alternative manure management projects have been implemented on California dairy farms since January 1, 2013, making a total of 180 California alternative manure management projects.
These projects prevent the production of methane by promoting drier handling and storage of manure nutrients.
The AMMP follows the DDRDP as one of the most cost-effective programs (ranked 12th of 73 climate programs), providing one ton of GHG reduction (CO2e) for every $62 invested by the state.
AMMP projects promote dry handling of manure, which can be a significant first step in producing a valuable and exportable source of organic matter for building healthy soils.
These projects are currently in various states of development throughout 14 California counties, including communities on the coast and in the San Joaquin Valley.
(Updated October 2022)
What do AMMP projects look like?
Separators remove solid particles after manure is flushed from barn floors, and before it enters a storage lagoon. The remaining solid fibers can be dried and used as organic compost and/or bedding.
Dry Manure Handling
(Flush to Scrape Conversion)
Vacuum trucks, such as the one above, or other scrape (non-flush) technologies make it easier to dry the manure and use it as a source of organic nitrogen.
Compost-Bedded Pack Barns
The AMMP can help finance compost enhancement projects, supporting the use of dairy manure as an organic soil amendment.
$85M USDA Grant to Promote Adoption of Advanced Climate-Smart Manure Management Practices
The California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), in partnership with more than 20 other dairy organizations, received a USDA Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities grant with an estimated funding ceiling of $85 million for a project to advance climate-smart dairy farming. The 5-year project (announced in September 2022) brings together organizations throughout the value chain including California governmental organizations, corporations and cooperatives, universities, producer organizations, environmental organizations, and others. Key project partners include the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), Dairy Cares, the University of California partners, and others.
California dairy farmers have made significant progress in reducing greenhouse gases and managing manure nitrogen. These new funds will enable continued progress in climate-smart dairying. The majority of the grant funds will be further distributed through CDFA direct to dairy farmers for the implementation of advanced climate-smart manure management practices. The practices will be studied by a team of University of California researchers to quantify emission reductions and changes in nitrogen.
Advanced manure management practices are defined as practices that reduce both methane emissions and surplus manure nutrients. Example practices include vermifiltration, polymer flocculant-based manure solids/liquids separation, algae raceways with moving bed biofilm reactor, subsurface drip fertigation using liquid manure, aerated static compost piles and others.