Submitted to: Proceedings of the US Dairy Forage Research Center Information Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Nutrient management on the dairy farm can pay big dividends, both financially and environmentally. A better match of crop (feed) production with nutrient needs of the herd, and conversely, providing manure nutrients to crops that can effectively utilize them, can reduce both cost and environmental risk. Corn and alfalfa are complimentary crops in terms of nutrient needs and in terms of nutrient supply to the dairy cow. If sufficient land is available to the dairy producer, inclusion of soybeans in the crop rotation as a potential protein supplement can greatly reduce nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) import to the farm. Soybeans in the crop rotation also facilitate no-till management of land in areas where soil type and growing conditions permit further reducing cost of feed production and threat of soil erosion. While crop production has often been viewed as a competitor for a dairy producer's time, having control over the cropping program can be an important advantage when viewed in the broader context o a sustainable system for food production.