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Whole-Farm Management to Reduce Nitrogen Losses from Dairy Farms

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032154,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13787) @2003
Authors:   C. Alan Rotz, Jouke Oenema, Herman van Keulen
Keywords:   Dairy farm, Simulation, Nutrient management, Nitrogen loss, Economics

Whole farm simulation provides a tool for evaluating the impact of nutrient conservation technologies and strategies on dairy farms. A farm simulation model was verified by simulating the production and nutrient flows of the De Marke experimental dairy farm in the Netherlands. Technology such as a low nitrogen emission barn floor, a covered manure storage, manure injection, and the interseeding of grass on corn land to absorb excess nitrogen were used on this farm to reduce nitrogen loss. Simulation of these practices on representative farms in southern Pennsylvania illustrated that nitrogen loss, primarily in the form of ammonia emission, could be reduced by about 35%. The cost of this technology was greater than the value of the nitrogen saved causing a reduction in the annual net return of $80/cow for a 100-cow farm and $74/cow for a 1000-cow farm.

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