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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #169620


item Rotz, Clarence - Al

Submitted to: Animal Nutrition Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2004
Publication Date: 10/5/2004
Citation: Rotz, C.A., Harrison, J. 2004. Computer simulation to evaluate farm nutrient management. Animal Nutrition Conference Proceedings. p. 9-12.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Nutrient management has become a major issue on farms in many regions of the country. Management to better utilize farm nutrients and reduce their loss to the environment is complex, and a whole farm approach is required. Many forms of computer software are being developed and used to help integrate farm information to simplify this management process. In particular, whole-farm simulation provides a useful tool for the long-term evaluation and comparison of production systems. The Integrated Farm System Model is a computer simulation model that was developed as a research and teaching tool for assessing the performance, economics, and environmental impact of alternative crop, dairy, and beef farm production systems. Crop production, feed use, and the return of manure nutrients back to the land are simulated over many years of weather. Nutrient flows through the farm are modeled to predict potential nutrient accumulation in the soil and loss to the environment. Simulated performance is used to predict production costs, income, and farm net return or profit for each simulated year of weather. Input information is supplied to the program through farm, machinery, and weather parameter files. The farm model creates output including annual and long-term average values for crop yields, feeds produced, feeds bought and sold, manure produced, nutrients lost to the environment, costs of manure handling and feed production, other farm costs, income from products sold, and the net return or profitability of the farm. By simulating various management options for a given farm, production strategies can be compared and the best options can be selected for implementation. The Model is available from the Internet site of the USDA/ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit.