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    Grazing Dairy Environmental Footprint Study Factsheet

    Franklin Egan and, Aaron de Long (October, 2018)

    Dairy farms that graze their herds on deep-rooted, perennial pastures improve soil health, water quality, animal welfare and, often, profitability. While many grazing dairy farmers report their methods produce less soil erosion and nutrient runoff than confined dairy herds—while generating better quality milk at lower production costs—it’s challenging to develop a holistic account of the environmental and economic footprints of grazing dairies. In 2018, PASA partnered with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and grazing dairies enrolled in the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship to conduct whole-farm environmental and economic assessments of grazing dairy farms. By employing the Integrated Farming Systems Model (IFSM), we were able to simulate flows of energy, nutrients, and dollars through a working dairy farm, based on input numbers provided by Master Graziers and Apprentices regarding their particular farm operations.

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    October, 2018
    Material Type
    Written Material