California Institute for Water Resources
California Institute for Water Resources
California Institute for Water Resources
University of California
California Institute for Water Resources

Zuppan Dairy UC Delivers



Local Dairy Reduces Methane Gas with help from State Grant 

Author: Dana Brady Yount

Social Media Summary: The Zuppan Dairy received a California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) grant for the 2018 cycle. To reduce their methane emissions, install a manure separator, pump and agitator with funding from the grant.  

Zuppan’s Manure Solid Separator System funded by the CDFA AMMP Grant

Pictured above: The Zuppan’s Manure Solid Separator System funded by the CDFA AMMP Grant. 


The Issue: 

When liquid manure sits in storage lagoons on dairies, or other livestock operations for too long, methane can form. The formation of methane in the atmosphere is a main contributor to climate change. To address increasing concerns over methane emissions, CDFA developed the program called AMMP to support farmers in reducing their emissions. AMMP incentivizes the development of manure management practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with protecting water and air quality. 

In the most recent round of AMMP, livestock and dairy operations could apply for up to $750,000 to implement methane reduction practices. These practices fall under four main categories: pasture-based management, solid separation, conversion from flush to scrape and alternative manure treatments and storage. The objective of this program is to encourage dairy and livestock producers to adopt Climate Smart Agriculture practices to reduce methane in animal agriculture systems.  


How UC Delivers:

CDFA developed a partnership with University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) to fund ten positions in Cooperative Extension offices (UCCE) across the state. The educators are available to help local farmers and ranchers apply for funding and to implement practices through CDFA’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs,: the Healthy Soils Program (HSP), State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP). These ten positions provide on the ground technical assistance with specific goals to reach Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDFR’s) and Severely Disadvantaged Communities (SDAC’s) that might not otherwise hear about the grant opportunities. 

Zuppan Dairy milks 600 cows in Glenn County, and manages animal waste by scraping the manure into a lagoon system before the project storage ponds. The Zuppans', who worked with local UC Dairy Advisors on the project, were awarded funding for the 2018 AMMP grant cycle to cost share the installation and implementation of a manure solids separator for their operation. As part of their project, they were able to purchase and install a new pump, agitator, skid steer for manure handling, and mechanical separator to remove manure solids from the storage system and reduce methane. This project has helped the dairy achieve several benefits including reducing methane emissions, reducing build-up of manure solids in their pond system, reducing commercial fertilizer use, and improving their ability to evenly distribute the manure nutrients on their fields.  

AMMP aids to reduce 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) over 5 years, equating to taking 243,310 cars off the road. This one project contributes a reduction of 4,059 MTCO2e over 5 years, equivalent to 880 fewer cars, to that goal. Along with a major reduction in greenhouse gases, Zuppan Dairy has also been able to save over $13,000 a year in annual fertilizer costs. A total yearly savings range of $29,000-$37,000 can be expected from this type and size of project. Further economics information can be found here

2nd picture

Pictured above: Zuppan’s Solid Separator and manure storage pit funded by the AMMP Grant 

The Zuppan Dairy is one of many across California working to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. According to Mitloehner, et al. (2020), California dairies have reduced greenhouse gases by 2.2 million metric tons since 2015. Long story short, the Zuppan’s say, they “simply couldn’t survive without [the AMMP Grant].” 



California Department of Food and Agriculture. (2021). Alternative manure management program (ammp). Retrieved May 05, 2021, from 

Mitloehner, FD., Kebreab, ED., & Boccadoro, M. (2020). Methane, Cows and Climate Change: California's Dairy Path to Climate Neutrality. UC Davis CLEAR Center. Retrieved April 12, 2021, from

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