Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The Dairy Forage System Model (DAFOSYM) was used to evaluate the economic and environmental impacts of adding 50 acres of corn, barley, soybeans, or pasture to a 150-acre, 100-cow dairy farm in Wisconsin. The greatest benefit came from adding rotation-ally grazed pasture where annual farm profit increased about $20,000. Volatile nitrogen (N) loss from the farm increased 10 percent, but N leaching loss per land unit decreased 50 percent. Adding a bunker silo for more corn silage and 50 acres of corn, barley for feed grain and straw bedding, or soybeans for roasting and feeding all had similar impacts. Volatile N loss and N leaching loss per land unit were reduced about 15 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Annual farm profit was increased about $10,000 with more corn or soybeans and $14,000 with barley. All crop options reduced soil phosphorus (P) accumulation by 9 lb/acre/year. Therefore, adding pasture to an expanding dairy farm may provide equal or better environmental benefit and greater profitability than other crop options.