Earlier this month members of the NMPF’s Environmental Task Force met to review potential dairy site locations for the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study that will be conducted as part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Consent Agreement.

 More than 600 dairies across the country signed up for the consent agreement and could be selected as one of six study sites. The NMPF task force has been studying the specifics of the dairies that applied, for example flush vs. scrape systems, dry-lot vs. free-stall or tie-stall, as well as location to make a recommendation on which dairies would provide a representative sample of the industry, explains Chris Galen, National Milk Producers Federation.

So far, the task force has approved three dairy sites that ultimately are expected to be monitored by the air emissions study. Farms in California, Texas and New York were approved by the task force. Two additional dairies will be selected from the Midwest and one from the Northwest region to complete the six needed for the study.

Next month, a representative of PurdueUniversity, which will conduct the actual research, will make several site visits to look at potential farms in these regions. Once he conducts site visits and selects potential candidates, he will make his recommendations to the task force for its approval. Further details on the final dairy sites will be withheld until they are approved by the EPA. It is anticipated that the air monitoring research will begin in early 2007.

At the meeting in Chicago, the task force also determined the next steps needed to develop a process-based model. The process-based model approach will help dairy farmers estimate their air emissions through a computer program. This approach will incorporate a mathematical model representing the interactions between the farm system components, such as the dairy animals, manure, soil, crops and feed. The task force will be working with Frank Mitloehner from the University of California, Davis, as well as other scientists, to develop the process-based model.

National Milk Producers Federation