Location: Plant Science Research
Title: Nitrogen conservation and dynamics in integrated crop-livestock systems Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 3, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Nitrogen is an essential element of agricultural productivity, but it has numerous mechanisms and opportunities for loss to the environment, which can threaten environmental quality. The question is raised as to whether high-intensity, continuous cereal grain production can be considered sustainable with simplification of the landscape, large leakages of nitrogen from typical systems, and the possibility of rising input costs threatening to erode current farm profits from high commodity prices. Contemporary agriculture with clear separation of crop and animal livestock components has contributed to nutrient imbalances, economic vulnerability, and yield stagnation. A diversity of integrated crop-livestock systems can be implemented as part of a conservation agricultural system approach needed to conserve precious soil and water resources, as well as to improve local and regional nutrient cycles. This presentation explores some production and environmental quality responses to manure application, sod-based crop rotations, grazing of cover crops, and conservation tillage management of cropland. Conservation agricultural systems for the future must place greater emphasis on a diversity of outcomes, including sufficient production capacity, profit for producers, favorable working environments and social structure of rural landscapes, and protection of the environment.