Submitted to: Proceedings of the Symposium on the State of the Science of Animal Manure
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2004
Publication Date: 1/2/2005
Citation: Jackson-Smith, D., J.M. Powell, D. McCrory, and H. Saam. 2005. Understanding manure management behavior on Wisconsin dairy farms: lessons from recent on-farm research. In: Proceedings for the State of the Science - Animal Manure and Waste Management Symposium, January 5-7, 2005, San Antonio, Texas. http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/waste_mgt/natlcenter/sanantonio/proceedings.htm. Paper 57. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Improving manure management in the United States depends on facilitating changes in the behavior of hundreds of thousands of livestock owners and farm operators. Unfortunately, much of our research and policy approaches are based on relatively unsystematic information regarding the types of manure management behaviors that most livestock operators engage in, and the underlying reasons for these behaviors. This paper reviews results of an on-going study of fifty randomly selected dairy farms in Wisconsin. Our focus is on understanding farmer behavior in three critical areas of farmer decision-making: (a) where and when to field-apply manure; (b) whether to allow animals access to pastures, barnyards, and other outside areas; and (c) how to utilize information developed as part of a formal nutrient management planning process. The results suggest a more complex social-economic-environmental logic than is often appreciated by manure management researchers and state and federal policymakers. The implications for developing technical and managerial solutions to manure management problems are discussed.