Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2008
Publication Date: August 1, 2008
Citation: Kleinman, P.J., Soder, K.J. 2008. The Impact of Hybrid Dairy Systems on Air, Soil and Water Quality: Focus on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling. In McDowell, R.W., editor. Environmental Impacts of Pasture-based Farming. Oxfordshire, UK. CAB International. p. 249-276. Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: The spread of management intensive grazing by dairy farmers has created a continuum of dairy farming systems that rely to various degrees on grazing. In addition to improving the profitability of smaller dairy farms by lowering input costs, and improving other aspects of dairy farm management, grazing has been credited with a variety of environmental benefits. However, a diversity of conditions and management practices on dairy farms complicates generalizations regarding grazing and confinement operations. This chapter examines the cycling and management of nitrogen and phosphorus on dairy farms. Opportunities exist to lower on-farm nutrient surpluses in grazing systems, but, as with the control of environmental losses, require conscious, concerted management decisions. In many ways, grazing increases the complexity of managing nitrogen and phosphorus, particularly on hybrid operations that contain components of confinement and grazing-based dairies. Ultimately, social and economic factors must be accounted for to enable prudent management of nutrients on grazing dairy operations.