Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 9, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center (USDFRC), USDA-ARS, is a federally funded facility engaged in forage research related to the U.S. dairy industry, an industry generating annually $21 billion in milk sales. The Center has a laboratory-greenhouse complex located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and a 1700-acre farm housing 320 milking cows located at Prairie du Sac, WI. The mission of the USDFRC is to develop knowledge needed to enhance sustainable, competitive dairy forage systems that are in harmony with the environment, promote animal health, and ensure a safe, economical, healthy food supply for U.S. citizens. Multi-disciplinary research is conducted by twelve scientists at the Madison facility and three scientists located in affiliated cluster sites (two in St Paul, MN and one in Ithaca, NY) (1 soil scientist, 3 plant scientists, 2 agricultural engineers, 2 plant chemists/biochemists, 2 rumen nmicrobiologists, and 4 dairy scientists). Current research thrusts are: 1) integration of cropping systems and nutrient management on dairy farms; 2) identification of factors that affect the indigestibility and digestion kinetics of cell walls and limit forage utilization; 3) utilization of site-specific estimates of nutritive value feeds to improve the sustainability of dairy farms; 4) improving efficiency of nitrogen utilization in dairy products; and 5) evaluation of value-added products from perennial legumes and manure.