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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Snap-shot assessment of nutrient use efficiency
How can nutrient use efficiency be determined and monitored easily on dairy farms? Over the past several years researchers at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been developing and using rapid assessment methods to provide snap-shot assessments of feed, fertilizer, and manure use on dairy farms in various settings. The most recent work was a survey of 54 Wisconsin dairy farms known as On Farmers' Ground.

Here we provide many of the tools used in the On Farmers' Groundproject in the hopes that others will find them useful in determining and monitoring nutrient use efficiency on dairy farms.

Materials available (PDF format) on this site include: Snap-shot Assessment wheel; crop, feed, cow, milk, manure, fertilizer

A FACT SHEETgiving an overall explanation of nutrient use efficiency, the importance of knowing it, and how to measure it.

A sample NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT SURVEY- the questionnaire that was used in the On Farmers' Groundproject.*

A sample MANURE SPREADING BOOK- a document to help dairy producers keep track of when, where, and why they spread manure.*

An example of an On Farmers' GroundFINAL FARMER REPORTfor an individual farm in the study.*

Four scientific journal articles related to the On Farmer's Ground project:

* If you want an electronic copy of the Nutrient Management Survey or the Manure Spreading Book (MS Word format) for the purposes of modifying for your own use, please contact Mark Powell of the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center at

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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