Nutrient Balancing Makes Farms and Ranches More Profitable

This article is drawn from two articles in the Cornell Field Crops Newsletter written by Quirine Ketterings, Melanie Soberon, Sebastian Cela, Karl Czymmek (also from PRODAIRY), Steve Crittenden and Caroline Rasmussen of the Nutrient Management Spear Program, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University. While their work focuses on assisting dairy farms, the concepts are important no matter what you raise. When a milk truck pulls out of the driveway, nutrients are being exported off the farm. The same is true if the farm exports crops or animals. Each animal, bushel or ton of crop, or gallon of milk contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. As a result, a farm cannot remain productive in the long run without importing nutrients to offset what it exports. For the last 10 years, we’ve been working with dairy farmers and their advisors to figure out how dairy producers can create a better balance without giving up on milk production. Nutrient Mass Balance Nutrient Mass Balance (NMB) is short for “whole farm nutrient mass balance.” It’s the difference in nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) imported onto the farm in the form of feed, fertilizer, animals, and bedding, and nutrients exported off the farm in milk, crops, animals and manure. Farms with a positive balance may be bringing in more nutrients than they need to. Making changes can save money and reduce potential environmental impacts due to nutrient run-off. Other farms might have a negative

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

Translate »