Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2007
Publication Date: September 15, 2007
Citation: Powell, J.M. 2007. Implications of nutrient management data collected on Wisconsin dairy farms. In: Chapman, D.F., Clark D.A., Macmillan,K.L. and Nation, D.P., editors. Meeting the Challenges for Pasture-Based Dairying. Proceedings of the Australian Dairy Science Symposium, September 18-20, 2007, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. p. 593-599. Technical Abstract: With recent passage of government regulations pertaining to environmental impacts of animal agriculture, dairy farmers in the USA are seeking new ways to track and improve their use of agricultural nutrients. A study of fifty-four representative Wisconsin dairy farms was conducted to evaluate the influence of biophysical and socioeconomic factors on overall feed, fertilizer, and manure nutrient use. Calculated feed nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) use efficiencies of 18% to 35% (percentages of feed N and P transformed into milk) fell within ranges expected for dairy farms having similar management and feeding practices. Overall results from cropland studies showed that farmers were integrating the management of fertilizer-manure-legume nutrients much more than previously thought, relatively few farms would have to change current practices to adhere to proposed nutrient management standards, and a relatively small proportion of farms were employing nutrient management practices that could be considered detrimental to water quality. The study methods provided a "snap-shot" of industry practices, as well as accurate information on the range of feed and manure management practices on individual farms.