World Wildlife Fund and University of Minnesota’s NorthStar are developing a spatial model that links dairy feed, milk and associated environmental impacts at the county-level. To achieve this, researchers are expanding the FoodS3 model, a technology that estimates subnational commodity flows of crops like corn, wheat and soy, to include dairy production. The model provides an estimated environmental impact of production for each county and enables companies that use dairy inputs to prioritize and focus solutions to reduce their environmental footprint.
“The FoodS3 model will provide opportunities for collaboration across dairy supply chains amongst companies, co-ops and other stakeholders to reduce GHG emissions and water impacts at scale,” said Ms. Sandra Vijn, the principal investigator of this project. “It will also help map the environmental impacts of dairy feed production, which will support the dairy and wider agricultural community with implementation of solutions to conserve natural resources such as soils, biodiversity and water.”
This research will allow the dairy industry to develop targeted interventions to reduce environmental impacts across supply chains and milk-producing regions. This project assesses GHG emissions and irrigated water use in US dairy supply chains. Dairy industry stakeholders will be able to use the FoodS3 model and the published data, to set baselines, prioritize areas for GHG emission and water reduction efforts and implement solutions.
Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.
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