Use of the Dairy Opportunity Checklist in Feed Management Plan Development

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

Introduction

This fact sheet has been developed to support the implementation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service 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.

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

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has adopted a practice standard called Feed Management (592) and 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 fact sheet entitled “An Introduction to Natural Resources Feed Management Practice Standard 592”. Please check in your own state for a state-specific version of the standard.

The national Feed Management Education team has developed a systematic 5-step development and implementation process for the Feed Management Practice Standard. A complete description of the 5-steps can be found in a companion fact sheet entitled “Five Steps to the Development and Implementation of a Feed Management Plan”.

The second step of this process focuses on identifying the conditions where the practice applies and making an initial assessment of the opportunity for the full development of a Feed Management Plan. Key participants at step 2 would be the producer, the nutrient management planner, and NRCS staff.

The conditions where the practice applies as noted the in NRCS 592 standard include:

  1. Whole farm imbalance
  2. Soil nutrient build-up
  3. Land base not large enough, or
  4. Seeking to enhance nutrient efficiencies.

After defining the condition(s) for use of the 592 standard, an opportunity checklist (see pages 3-6) is then used make an initial assessment of developing a complete feed management plan.

The Opportunity Checklist is organized to first identify the resource concerns of:

  • Soil Condition – Animal Waste and other organics
  • Water Quality - Excessive Nutrients and Organics in Groundwater
  • Water Quality - Excessive Nutrients and Organics in Surface Water

If one or more of these conditions exist on an operation, then a FMP should be considered by completing the Opportunity Checklist.

The Opportunity Checklist is designed to determine the relative opportunity for feed management to impact Whole Farm Nutrient Management. The Opportunity Checklist is the first step in making a decision on whether to complete a FMP.

The checklist is meant to be used as an initial, quick, on-farm assessment tool. If the decision is made to complete a FMP, numerous additional feed management practices will be assessed in more detail with the use of the Feed management Plan Checklist.

The items shown in the Opportunity Checklist are the management practices which have the greatest opportunity for feed management to impact Whole Farm Nutrient Management. The ‘Benefit to the Environment’ column provides the possible impact the practice could have on whole farm nutrient management. It is meant to be informative and should not be answered for each farm.

If one or more of the Opportunity Checklist items are noted in the category of "moderate or lots of opportunity for improvement”, then the next evaluation step should be completed: Economic Evaluation (manure transport vs feed management change) or FMP Checklist.

Following on this fact sheet you will find a completed Opportunity Checklist as an example.

Dairy Opportunity Checklist:

Identify resource concerns and/ or conditions where practice applies and assess the Opportunities

Feeding management is one of six components of a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) as defined by the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Feeding management as part of a CNMP should be viewed as a “consideration” but not a “requirement” as some practices will not be economical on some dairies.

Resource concerns and the conditions where practice applies

Field specific resource concerns that may be impacted by feed management (but not limited too) are soil and water quality. For example, nutrients may build-up in the soil or leach into ground water due to manure application. Feed management practices with or without several other practices may reduce the volume and nutrient content of manure. If one or both of these resource concerns exist on an operation, then a Feed Management Plan (FMP) should be considered by completing the Opportunity Checklist.

Conditions where practice applies are whole farm imbalance, soil build-up of nutrients, land base not large enough, or operation seeking to enhance nutrient efficiencies. Feed management practices with or without several other practices may reduce the volume and nutrient content of manure and may be an effective approach to minimizing the import of nutrients to the farm. If one or more of these conditions exist on an operation, then a FMP should be considered by completing the Opportunity Checklist.

Opportunity Checklist

The Opportunity Checklist is designed to determine the relative opportunity for feed management to impact Whole Farm Nutrient Management. The Opportunity Checklist is the first step in making a decision on whether to complete a FMP. The checklist is meant to be used as an initial, quick, on-farm assessment tool. If the decision is made to complete a FMP, numerous additional feed management practices will be assessed in more detail.

The items shown in the Opportunity Checklist are the management practices which have the greatest opportunity for feed management to impact Whole Farm Nutrient Management. The ‘Benefit to the Environment’ column provides the possible impact the practice could have on whole farm nutrient management. It is meant to be informative and should not be answered for each farm. If one or more of the Opportunity Checklist items are noted in the category of "moderate or lots of opportunity for improvement”, then the next evaluation step should be completed: Economic Evaluation (manure transport vs feed management change) or FMP Checklist.

 

Dairy Information
Dairy Name  
Date Completed  
Producer Signature  
Adviser Signature  
Identify resource concern(s) and/ or the condition(s) where practice applies:
Resource Concern(s)
  Soil Condition: Contaminants – Animal Waste and Other Organics
  • Nutrient levels from applied animal waste and other organics restrict desired use of the land.
  Water Quality: Excessive Nutrients and Organics in Groundwater
  • Pollution from natural or human induced nutrients such as N, P, and organics (including animal and other wastes) degrades groundwater quality.
  Water Quality: Excessive Nutrients and Organics in Surface Water
  • Pollution from natural or human induced nutrients such as N, P, and organics (including animal and other wastes) degrades surface water quality.
Conditions Where Practice Applies
  Whole Farm Imbalance: Confined Dairy operations with a whole farm nutrient imbalance, with more nutrients imported to the farm than are exported and/or utilized by cropping programs.
  Soil nutrient build-up: Confined Dairy operations that have a significant build up of nutrients in the soil due to land application of manure.
  Land base not large enough: Confined Dairy operations that land apply manure and do not have a land base large enough to allow nutrients to be applied at rates recommended by soil test and utilized by crops in the rotation.
  Dairy operations seeking to enhance nutrient efficiencies

 

Determine the Feed Management opportunities for addressing Resource Concerns:

On the following pages is a list of feeding management practices that can affect nutrient balance. Please read through each feeding management consideration and record your answer. If one or more of the Opportunity Checklist items are noted in the category of "moderate or lots of opportunity for improvement”, then the next evaluation step should be completed; economic evaluation or FMP Checklist.

Dairy Opportunity Checklist

Click here to view the Dairy Opportunity Checklist, example of the Dairy Information worksheet and an example Dairy Opportunity Checklist (PDF).

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Disclaimer

This fact sheet 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 LPELC.

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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

J. H. Harrison jhharrison@wsu.edu, and
R. A. White, Washington State University
A Sutton and Todd Applegate, Purdue University
Galen Erickson and Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska
R. Burns, Iowa State University
D Wilks – Standard Nutrition

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