New science probes environmental impacts of Jersey milk
With over 40% of U.S. milk production utilized in the manufacture of cheese, using nutrient-dense milk produced by smaller Jersey cattle produces substantial reductions in water and land usage, fuel consumption, waste output, and greenhouse gas emissions compared to using Holstein milk. Per unit of cheese yield, the carbon footprint (total CO2-equivalents) from production of Jersey milk is 20% less than that of Holsteins.
Read the key findings of life-cycle assessment study, presented at the 2010 Dairy and Animal Science Joint Annual Meeting, published in the January 2012 issue of Journal of Dairy Science, authored by Judith L. Capper and Roger A. Cady. Learn More →
Presentations by Jude Capper
Peer-Reviewed LCA Science
From Study Conclusions: "The principal objective of this study was to illustrate the potential for environmental impact reduction by changes in performance characteristics, rather than to provide a definitive value for the environmental impact of producing Cheddar cheese from either Jersey or Holstein milk. The current study is a point-in-time comparison ... the directional trends in resource use and environmental impact between populations may be referred to with confidence.
"Producing Cheddar cheese from Jersey milk consumes fewer natural resources and has a lower environmental impact compared with that using milk from Holstein cows. The interaction between improved milk nutrient density and reduced BW demonstrated by the Jersey population overcomes the reduced daily milk yield (compared with Holstein cows), thus reducing resource use and environmental impact per unit of cheese yield. ... As concerns over the environmental impact of livestock production continue to grow, it is crucial to focus on both diluting (milk component yield) and reducing (BW) population maintenance requirements to further reduce natural resource use and the environmental impact of dairy production." Read the complete study →
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