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Saving the planet, one cow burp at a time

Hristov and his team study ways to reduce those emissions, so they have gotten very good at quantifying the amount their cows exhale. Prompted by some extra snacks, cow number 2050 ducks her head into a hooded machine that records the amount of methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide in her burps. During experiments, the scientists take eight measurements from each cow over several days. In a few months, this gives a snapshot of just how much methane the animals churn out -- and whether particular interventions work to slash that pollution.

USDA Seeks Applications for Nearly $12 Million in Broadband Grants for Rural Communities

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is soliciting applications for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect program. Community Connect is administered by USDA's Rural Utilities Service and helps to fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not economically viable for private sector providers to provide service.

Dry La Niña period likely to follow El Niño

The monthly climate outlook released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects that most of California will remain in drought over the next several months. The forecast reverses last month’s projection that nearly half of the state would begin seeing relief.

Kirsty Perrett (l to r), pushes Zephina Robertson, 7 months, in a stroller as Graham Robertson walks alongside while out for a walk at Dolores Park on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Consumers offer insight on food perception, purchases

Taste, safety and price remained consumers’ most important values when purchasing food this month, according to Oklahoma State University’s April “Food Demand Survey” (FooDS). FooDS, a monthly online survey with a sample size of at least 1,000 individuals, tracks consumer preferences and sentiment on the safety, quality and price of food consumed at home and away from home, with a particular focus on meat demand.

U.S. animal ag has some work to do

America’s livestock and poultry farmers have some work to do.

More than half the people in a recent nationwide survey by The Center for Food Integrity strongly agree with the statement, “If farm animals are treated decently and humanely, I have no problem consuming meat, milk and eggs.” Only one in four people in the same survey strongly agree with the statement, “U.S. meat is derived from humanely treated animals.”

See the gap?

Chesapeake Bay 'pollution diet' working, but it's expensive

The Chesapeake Bay’s pollution levels are dropping — but the so-called “pollution diet” has not been cheap.

Virginia has spent $767.4 million to help localities upgrade wastewater treatment plants that discharge pollutants into the bay and its tributaries, said James Davis–Martin of the state Department of Environmental Quality.

“It’s a huge investment, and it’s been an important part of our strategy and our success,” he said.

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