State lawmakers have introduced two bills aimed at promoting feed additives for livestock in an effort to reduce enteric methane emissions from cow burps. While some ag groups have backed additives, Western United Dairies is raising red flags.
CEO Anja Raudabaugh told Agri-Pulse feed additives remain too experimental for widescale adoption and she fears writing their use into state code would pave the way for a regulatory mandate.
One bill, sponsored by a company that produces additives and stands to profit from the measure, would task the CDFA secretary with determining if the products are safe. The other would charge the Air Resources Board with incentivizing additives with cap-and-trade dollars, but Raudabaugh argued the measure is the work of environmental justice activists who want to shrink the dairy footprint in California.
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She worried that additives would increase production costs by as much as 10 cents per cow every day. Considering California has more than 1.7 million cows, the cost escalates quickly, and the state is unlikely to invest in new grants during a deficit and after spending $385 million on dairy digesters.