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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Crop Options for An Expanding Dairy Farm in Wisconsin

Authors
item Rotz, Clarence
item Martin, Neal
item Grabber, John

Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 19, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The Dairy Forage System Model (DAFOSYM) was used to evaluate the economic and environmental impacts of adding 50 acres of corn, barley, soybeans, or pasture to a 150-acre, 100-cow dairy farm in Wisconsin. The greatest benefit came from adding rotation-ally grazed pasture where annual farm profit increased about $20,000. Volatile nitrogen (N) loss from the farm increased 10 percent, but N leaching loss per land unit decreased 50 percent. Adding a bunker silo for more corn silage and 50 acres of corn, barley for feed grain and straw bedding, or soybeans for roasting and feeding all had similar impacts. Volatile N loss and N leaching loss per land unit were reduced about 15 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Annual farm profit was increased about $10,000 with more corn or soybeans and $14,000 with barley. All crop options reduced soil phosphorus (P) accumulation by 9 lb/acre/year. Therefore, adding pasture to an expanding dairy farm may provide equal or better environmental benefit and greater profitability than other crop options.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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