Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2010
Publication Date: October 20, 2010
Repository URL: http://www.msu.edu/~mdr/vol15no4/vol15no4.pdf
Citation: Powell, J.M. 2010. Snap-shots of feed and manure management on dairy farms. Michigan Dairy Review. 15(4):15-16. Technical Abstract: On many dairy farms it is possible to put more feed nutrients into milk and more fertilizer and manure nutrients into crops and pasture. This would not only reduce farm input costs and enhance profits, but such improvements in nutrient use efficiency (NUE) could also reduce risks of environmental contamination. This article provides summary descriptions of ‘snap-shot’ tools that may be used to assess feed, fertilizer and manure use on a wide range of dairy farm types. A questionnaire is used during face-to-face interviews to compile information on herd size and composition, management practices, and motivations and goals related to feed, fertilizer and manure management. The questionnaire provides a ‘snap-shot’ of nutrient management for the period ‘yesterday-today-tomorrow’. Retrospective questions are then posed to define broad, seasonal differences in nutrient management. Subsequent farm visits (usually monthly or quarterly) are set up to collect additional data, feed and manure samples, and to discuss survey results with farmers.