Another round of manure methane funding is imminent.  The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) and the Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) have become familiar to most dairy farmers.  This year they are joined by the Dairy Plus Program, which I wrote about recently.  These programs aim to reduce the emissions of methane from manure stored in lagoons to help the State meet its climate goals.  However, the Dairy Plus Program, which comes from a USDA grant awarded to the California Dairy Research Foundation, has an added goal in that it also seeks to improve water quality along with reducing methane emissions.  This is important considering the water quality changes that lie ahead.

Central Valley dairies will see changes in how water quality is addressed over the next several years due to the newly formed Nitrate Management Zones and upcoming revision to the dairy general order.  Wise dairy producers will take this opportunity to address both methane and water quality issues with this grant funding. 

The goal of the DDRDP is to capture manure methane in a digester and use it as renewable energy.  AMMP aims to reduce the amount of manure going into the lagoon, thereby reducing the production of methane.  The Dairy Plus Program aims to reduce the amount of manure going into the lagoon or treat that manure to reduce methane emissions and improve water quality. 

Applicants to the DDRDP work with a digester developer who designs the project and completes the application.  For AMMP, typically, a Technical Assistance Provider helps with the application as most vendors of AMMP technology are not versed in the application process.  For the Dairy Plus Program, it is going to be somewhere in the middle.  I have talked to some of the Dairy Plus technology providers, and they are interested in some help, but they also want to be involved in the application. 

I am once again assisting dairies that want to apply for AMMP and now the Dairy Plus Program.  I have a list of dairies that have already expressed interest in having me help them with their application, but I have room for a couple more.  If you are interested in applying for funding under one of these programs the time to get started is now.  If you have questions or would like talk through your ideas for these programs, reach out to me at the WUD office or [email protected].

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