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Coupling dairy manure storage with injection to improve nitrogen management: whole-farm simulation using the integrated farm system model
- DUNCAN, E. W., KLEINMAN, P. J. A., BEEGLE, D. B., ROTZ, C. A.
- AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENTAL LETTERS 2017 v.2 no.1 pp. 4
- agricultural soils, ammonium nitrogen, crops, dairy cows, dairy farming, dairy manure, leaching, manure spreading, manure storage, models, nitrate nitrogen, nitrogen, nutrient management, nutrient use efficiency, soil amendments, storage time, watersheds, Pennsylvania
- Application of livestock manure to farm soils represents a priority nutrient management concern in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Historically strong emphasis has been placed on adding manure storage to dairy operations, and, there has been recognition that manure application methods can be improved. The Integrated Farm System Model was used to simulate manure management on a typical Pennsylvania dairy farm (100 milking cows, 80 ha). Converting the operation from daily haul to 6 months of storage with broadcast application did not substantially change N losses to the environment. However, switching to manure injection conserved ammonium-N and improved manure N use efficiency by crops, even though it slightly exacerbated nitrate-N leaching. Increasing manure storage from 6 to 12 months and injecting manure reduced nitrate-N leaching by 38% due to better timing of manure application to crop growth, but lowered annual net returns. Overall, manure injection and 6-months of storage resulted in the best combination of profit and environmental outcome.