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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Nutrient management and dairy cattle production.

Abstract

Nutrient management on dairy operations has become more complex as society demands more attention be placed on environmental stewardship. Although nutrient management has traditionally focused on an individual field basis, there is a need for dairy operations to focus on nutrients at a whole-farm level. The emphasis of contemporary integrated nutrient management should be placed on three areas: reducing imports, enhancing within farm efficiencies (both cropping and cow efficiencies), and seeking export opportunities for excess nutrients not utilized for crop production on the farm. Focusing on the flows of nutrients to, within, and off a farm assists with the development of management strategies of how to best handle nutrients in an environmentally friendly manner. Proper management of nutrients at the whole-farm level needs to be accompanied by an effort to inform the public and environmentally concerned groups about the proactive efforts that producers have adopted to manage nutrients and protect the environment. To be sustainable, integrated nutrient management will require an expanded effort to reconnect the nutrient cycle and link the movement of nutrients between sites of feed production and feed utilization.

CAB Review details