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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Rotz, Clarence - Al
item Coiner, Colette

Submitted to: Internet Web Page
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/16/2001
Publication Date: 8/16/2001
Citation: Rotz, C.A., Coiner, C.U. 2001. Dairy Forage System Model: Reference Manual. Internet Web Page. Available from:

Interpretive Summary: 1

Technical Abstract: A sustainable dairy industry requires improved production systems that increase the profitability of farms while maintaining or reducing long-term negative impacts on the environment. Alternative technologies and management strategies include choices in the number and type of animals, land area, crop mix, equipment, feed storage facilities, animal facilities, ,manure handling options, and much more. Changes in one component of the farm often affect other components and this interaction can cause changes in the performance, environmental impact, and profitability of the farm that are not obvious or easily understood. The Dairy Forage System Model (DAFOSYM) provides a research tool that integrates the many physical and biological processes on a dairy farm to provide a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of options in dairy production. The model has been used to evaluate a wide variety of technologies and management strategies on dairy farms across the northern U.S. Systems research in dairy production remains the primary purpose, but the model also provides an effective teaching aid. The model is distributed on the Internet to scientists, farm consultants, producers, students, and other users across the country and around the world. This manual documents the major algorithms, functions, and parameters used to model each of the main components of the farm system including crop growth, grazing, machinery systems, tillage and planting operations, harvest operations, feed storage, animal feeding and production, manure handling, and economic analysis. The manual provides a useful reference to assist users of the software in better understanding the model and how it can be applied.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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