|SNIFFEN, C - Fencrest, Llc
|SMITH, S - National Institute Of Food And Agriculture (NIFA)
|TRICARICO, J - Innovation Center For Us Dairy
|GRANT, R - William H Miner Agricultural Research Institute
Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/17/2017
Publication Date: 10/5/2017
Citation: Martin, N.P., Russelle, M.P., Powell, J.M., Sniffen, C.J., Smith, S.I., Tricarico, J.M., Grant, R.J. 2017. Invited review: Sustainable forage and grain crop production for the U.S. dairy industry. Journal of Dairy Science. 100(12):9479-9494.
Interpretive Summary: For the U.S. dairy industry to be sustainable, forage and crop production must be economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Land use for production of feed for dairy cattle must consider climate change, carbon and water footprint, soil health, soil nutrient cycling concerns, and competition for land -- all while ensuring producer profitability and social acceptance. This review calls for flexible and resilient crop production systems to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. dairy industry by mid-century.
Technical Abstract: An enduring U.S. dairy industry will be underpinned by forage and crop production systems that are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Land use for production of perennial and annual forages and grains for dairy cattle must evolve in response to multiple food security and environmental sustainability issues. These include rising global populations, higher incomes and demand for dairy and other animal products, climate change with associated temperature and moisture changes, necessary reductions in carbon and water footprints, maintenance of soil quality, soil nutrient concerns, and competition for land, while maintaining producer profitability and utilizing practices accepted by society. Predicted changes in climate and water availability will likely challenge current feed and dairy production systems and their spatial distribution nationally, particularly the western migration of dairy production that occurred in the late twentieth century. To maintain and stabilize profitability while reducing carbon footprint, particularly reductions in methane emission and enhancements in soil carbon sequestration, dairy production will need to capitalize on genetic and management innovations that enhance forage and grain production and nutritive value. Improved regional and on-farm integration of feed production and manure utilization is needed to reduce environmental nitrogen and phosphorus losses and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Resilient and flexible feed production strategies are needed to address each of these challenges and opportunities to assure profitable feeding of dairy cattle and a sustainable dairy industry.