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As dairy farmers have strived to maintain profitability, many have farmed more intensively. More cows are milked and increasing inputs of fertiliser and purchased feed are used per hectare. However, these increased nutrient inputs have far exceeded the increase in nutrient output in milk production. The increasing nutrient surplus (inputs minus outputs) from intensification on dairy farms has met with increasing community concern about the environmental footprint of the dairy industry. In some other countries, dairy farmers who have intensified by increasing nitrogen inputs are now faced with legislation controlling the amount of fertiliser nitrogen that they can use.
The Greener Pastures project was set up to assist the Australian dairy industry meet the two major challenges managing high performing pasture systems: maintaining profitability while meeting the expectations of a community that is increasingly sensitive to environmental issues.
Number of Pages
Dairy Science | Soil Science
Lucey, J, Bolland, M, Bennett, D, Morris, R, Russell, B, and Staines, M. (2011), Greener pastures 1 - The greener pasture project: managing nutrients in dairy pastures. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Perth. Bulletin 4820.