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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Research Project #437817

Research Project: Reducing Lifecycle Environmental Impacts & Improving Profitability of Wisconsin Dairy Systems Through Improved Cropping Management

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Project Number: 5090-12210-001-27-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2022

Objective:
Objective 1: Study variations in crop productivity and environmental outcomes of traditional dairy cropping systems and their impacts on farm greenhouse gas budgets and milk productivity. Objective 2: Measure performance of traditional and improved (intercropping, perennial, and cover crop) cropping systems to optimize dairy farm productivity and cropland management to improve environmental and economic sustainability. Objective 3: Evaluate potential for additional income from ecosystem services provided by improved cropping systems.

Approach:
Objective 1: Establish a greenhouse gas (GHG) budget for the dairy farm at Prairie du Sac Agricultural Research Station using remote sensing net primary productivity (NPP), barn and manure GHG emissions, and farm carbon (C) exports and imports. Refine the model with eddy covariance, field, and barn measurements. Objective 2: Six cropping system treatments (corn silage, corn silage + cover crop, corn silage-alfalfa intercropping, alfalfa, Kernza, and pasture), by three manure treatments (no manure, spring manure, fall manure), will be installed in randomized block design (4 blocks with 72 total plots). Evaluate a range of environmental and economic performance measures across treatments. Objective 3: Develop ecosystem services valuation based on production metrics in each cropping system, and potential for on-farm income derived from ecosystem services markets.