A National Template for Preparing a Dairy Feed Management Plan

Dairy, Animal Manure Management July 16, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

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Introduction

This factsheet has been developed to support the implementation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Feed Management 592 Practice Standard. The Feed Management 592 Practice Standard was adopted by NRCS in 2003 as another tool to assist with addressing resource concerns on livestock and poultry operations. Feed management can assist with reducing the import of nutrients to the farm and reduce the excretion of nutrients in manure.

The Feed Management 592 Practice Standard adopted by NRCS is defined as “managing the quantity of available nutrients fed to livestock and poultry for their intended purpose.” The national version of the practice standard can be found in a companion factsheet entitled An Introduction to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Feed Management Practice Standard 592. Please check your state-specific version of the standard.

The national Feed Management Education Team has developed a systematic five-step development and implementation process for the Feed Management Practice Standard. A complete description of the five steps can be found in a companion factsheet entitled Five Steps to the Development and Implementation of a Feed Management Plan.

The fourth step of this process focuses on the development of the Feed Management Plan. Key participants at Step 4 are the producer and his nutritionist. The key tools to be used at Step 4 are the Feed Management Plan (FMP)Checklist and the Feed Management Plan Template.

Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production

Using the Feed Management Plan Template

The Feed Management Plan, or FMP, is intended to assist the producer with documentation of those practices that affect whole-farm nutrient management and contribute toward achieving nutrient balance at a whole-farm level. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the two nutrients that are required to be managed as part of the FMP in a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan.

When nitrogen and phosphorus imports exceed nitrogen and phosphorus exports, there is an imbalance at a whole-farm level. These imbalances can lead to impaired water quality in nearby water bodies due to both surface runoff and leaching of nutrients to groundwater. Excess nitrogen can also be volatilized and contribute to impaired air quality. Potassium is a nutrient that can lead to production and health problems if it is not monitored in dairy rations, therefore, it is also included as a nutrient to monitor.

The FMP template is designed to provide a common format to address all areas noted in the Feed Management 592 Practice Standard. It is organized with the following sections:

  • Contact information
  • General purpose and background information about the 592 standard
  • Specific purpose selection for the operation
  • When the plan was written
  • When the plan will be reviewed
  • Specific farm information for use with the electronic manure excretion estimator tool
  • Summary of feeding practices and equipment/technologies utilized on the farm
  • Record keeping
  • Recommendations

Estimate of Manure Nutrient Excretion

As part of the FMP, the impact that feed management will have on manure volume and nutrient content is estimated. The specific farm information section has been included to collect farm-specific descriptive information for use with the electronic manure excretion estimator tool. This tool is described in a companion factsheet entitled Estimating Manure Nutrient Excretion.

Feed Management Practices

This section should include a list and narrative of those practices that have been adopted. One way to document practices is to insert a copy of the completed Feed Management Plan Checklist. Proprietary information or specific ration formulations need not be included.

Guidance Sections

There are two important sections of the FMP that should contain specific guidance about sampling and analysis procedures, these are:

  • Record of feed sampling and feed analysis
  • Final recommendations

By following this link you will find a blank copy of the Feed Management Plan Template (PDF file). Additionally, a Completed Feed Management Plan (PDF file) is available as an example.

 

Related Files

To follow the references in this article, it is recommended that you print these PDF files and refer to them at the appropriate places.
Feed Management Plan Template
Example Feed Management Plan (Dairy).

Disclaimer

This factsheet reflects the best available information on the topic as of the publication date. Date 5-25-2007

This Feed Management Education Project was funded by the USDA NRCS CIG program. Additional information can be found at Feed Management Publications.

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This project is affiliated with the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center.

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Project Information

Detailed information about training and certification in Feed Management can be obtained from Joe Harrison, project leader, jhharrison@wsu.edu, or Becca White, project manager, rawhite@wsu.edu.

Author Information

Joe Harrison, Becca White, Lynn Johnson-VanWieringen, and Ron Kincaid, Washington State University
Mike Gamroth, Oregon State University
Tamilee Nennich, Texas A&M University
Deb Wilks, Standard Nutrition

 

Partners

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Acknowledgments

This Feed Management Education Project was funded by the USDA NRCS CIG program. Additional information can be found at Feed Management Publications.
This project is affiliated with the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.