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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Use of a Dairy Whole Farm Nutrient Balance Eduation Tool (Dairy Wfnbet) to Teach Dairy Producers and Their Advisers About Nutrient Management Concepts at the Whole Farm Level

item Gillies, J - NRCS
item Rotz, Clarence

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 5, 2003
Publication Date: June 22, 2003
Citation: Harrison, J.H., Nennich, T., Gillies, J., Rotz, C.A. 2003. Use of a dairy whole farm nutrient balance education tool (DAIRY WFNBET) to teach dairy producers and their advisers about nutrient management concepts at the whole farm level. Journal of Dairy Science. 86(1):163.

Technical Abstract: All dairies in the state of Washington were required by law to have an approved nutrient management plan by July 2002. By December 2003, these nutrient management plans must be certified that the planned practices and structures have been implemented. In early 2003, we conducted a series of nutrient management workshops to assist dairy producers and their advisers better understand the factors affecting the whole farm balance of nitrogen. The goal was to encourage active use of their nutrient management plans as a part of their overall farm management. A spreadsheet based education tool was developed in Excel to demonstrate whole farm concepts related to nutrient balance with a focus on nitrogen. The goals in developing the tool were: 1) to have it viewed on a single page (worksheet), 2) to require inputs readily available on most dairy farms, and 3) to be consistent with a planning program developed by NRCS to write nutrient management plans for dairies in Washington. The inputs required to simulate a farm were: herd milk production, number of milking cows, dry cows, and heifers, DMI of lactating cows, CP content of lactating cow rations, fertilizer import, land in forage crops, yield and CP content of forage crops, soil organic matter content, estimated losses of manure nitrogen based on storage system and manure application method, and nitrogen loss due to denitrification. Output of the analysis included the manure nitrogen available to crops and the whole farm balance of nitrogen. Specific management strategies were demonstrated with the education tool, which included diet reduction of CP, level of milk production, custom raising of heifers, crop yield, and manure application method.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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