Lesson 12. Feeding Dairy Cows to Reduce Nutrient Excretion

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View Lesson 12 (PDF file). Individual sections can be accessed below.

Intended Outcomes

The participants will

  • Understand the impact of dietary nutrient content on nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) excretion by dairy cows.
  • Understand the basic idea of nutrient balance on dairy farms.
  • Learn what the recommended requirements are of N, P, and K for dairy cows to avoid overfeeding these nutrients.
  • Learn feeding practices that will maximize animal performance and minimize nutrient excretion.
  • Understand the land requirements needed to manage the manure nutrients on dairy farms.



The participants will

  • Calculate the amount of N, P, and K excreted by cows in their herd.
  • Conduct a self-assessment of how well their herd minimizes nutrient excretion and evaluate approaches to improve their feeding program.
  • Learn about several websites with useful information to help them calculate nutrient excretion by their herd, calculate land base needed for managing the manure, and to understand the consequences of overfeeding N, P, or K.

Authors: Rick Grant and Stanley (Lee) Telega