N.B. backs dairy farms to test greenhouse gas plans

A system to help dairy farms in Atlantic Canada gauge their greenhouse gas output, then create offset credits by reducing it, will be tested in New Brunswick with provincial funding.

The New Brunswick environment department’s Climate Change Secretariat on Thursday pledged $50,000 for the Atlantic Dairy and Forage Institute to test its greenhouse gas quantification protocol at 50 farms.

The institute has drawn up a protocol for the Canadian dairy industry to gauge and quantify emissions from “all aspects” of dairy farm management, including animal husbandry, feeding and manure management systems.

The protocol targets methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, the three main greenhouse gases produced in the ag sector: Dairy farmers using the protocol can study their greenhouse gas “profiles” and make changes to create offset credits, for sale in domestic and international carbon markets.

New Brunswick’s broader goal, as laid out in its five-year climate change action plan in mid-2007, is to cut its emissions to 1990 levels by 2012, by way of its own various initiatives and federal climate change programs.

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