As the nation's leading dairy state, California provides 21% of the United States' milk supply. However as the numbers of milk cows and people continue to grow, particularly in the state's dairy-rich San Joaquin Valley, managing and treating dairy manure to prevent air and water pollution is a major concern.
Intent on identifying the most effective manure-treatment processes and equipment, UC Davis is collaborating on a technology review project with the California Air Resources Board, as well as other regulatory and industry organizations.
The California Dairy Manure Technology Review, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, invites vendors to submit information on their manure treatment technologies for objective assessment by a panel of experts from government, industry, academia and environmental groups.
While not endorsing any specific technologies, the panel will serve as a clearinghouse for information on technologies that are most likely to work, given California's climate, economic factors and regulatory requirements.
"We are asking vendors to provide us with scientific data on what their technology accomplishes and how it works, as well as how much it costs and whether it has already been certified for use," says Deanne Meyer, a Cooperative Extension livestock waste management specialist in UC Davis' animal science department.
"We hope that this review process will identify technologies that provide dairy farmers with options that protect the environment and meet all regulatory requirements," Meyer says. "We also hope this database will help dairy operators, researchers and industry groups find locations and partners for technology demonstration projects."
Vendors interested in the technology assessment can submit information on forms that are available at www.manureproducts.info. Vendors are requested to submit documentation by March 27, 2008. Later submissions will be accepted and reviewed based on available resources. Information will be delivered through mini-symposia held during 2008.