Can we blame the cows for pollutants in the groundwater?
Water. We use a lot of it in California, and especially in Central Valley, one of the largest agricultural areas in the world. This area is inhabited by many wonderful folks, including Bill and George Longfellow, the dairy farmers we are visiting today, as well as thousands and thousands of cows. What comes out of these cows, apart from the milk, may get in to the groundwater. Professor Thomas Harter from UC Davis is starting a new project at the Longfellow farm to monitor ground water quality. He and his team will drill wells to measure nitrate, salt and other substances in the soil and the water.
His results are eagerly awaited by Bill and George, who are keen to improve the management of their farm waste to reduce its impact. We talk with the dairy farming brothers about their farm and thier interest in this project.