The Use of USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants to Advance Air Quality Improvements

USDA-NRCS has nearly fifteen years of Conservation Innovation Grant project experience, and several of these projects have provided a means to learn more about various techniques for addressing air emissions from animal agriculture.  The overall goal of the Conservation Innovation Grant program is to provide an avenue for the on-farm demonstration of tools and technologies that have shown promise in a research setting and to further determine the parameters that may enable these promising tools and technologies to be implemented on-farm through USDA-NRCS conservation programs.

Pasture-based Dairy Impact on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling in Response to Grazing Grass-Legume Mixtures over Monocultures

There are over 3.5 million milk cows in the Western United States, making dairy one of the dominant sectors of western agriculture. Organic milk production is the fastest growing segment of U.S. organic agriculture and as a result there has been an increase in pasture-based milk production. To meet this increasing demand, improved grass-legume pastures that require fewer inputs, have high forage production and nutritive value, improve ruminant utilization of nitrogen, and have high dry matter intake are critical to the economic viability of pasture-based organic dairies.

Thermal and Electrical Energy and Water Consumption in a Midwest Dairy Parlor

The typical dairy farm uses a large amount of energy during milking activities. This is due to the frequency of milking and the energy intensive nature of harvesting milk, keeping it cool, and cleaning the equipment with hot water. Renewable energy systems generally become more economically efficient as the amount of energy used increases, making dairy farms a great place to incorporate renewable energy.