Dairy Industry and Ag Sec. reach deal - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Dairy Industry and Ag Sec. reach deal to decrease greenhouse gas emissions

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the federal government is renewing a pact with the dairy industry aimed at decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Vilsack says the federal government has helped thousands of dairy farms implement conservation plans, build anaerobic digesters and conduct energy audits under the original 2009 agreement.

The dairy industry has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has spent $257 million since 2009 to help the dairy industry reduce its emissions. Vilsack says he expects a similar, if not greater, investment over the next four years, although the deal signed Wednesday does not specify an amount.

Vilsack counted among the successes the construction of 178 anaerobic digesters that convert manure into methane for fuel.

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