The Vermont Dairy
Farm Sustainability Project
Vermont Dairy Farm Sustainability Project:
A Collaboration to Improve
Whole-Farm Nutrient Management
Dairy farms in the Northeast typically show annual accumulation of
nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), which may contribute to water quality
degradation. The Vermont Dairy Farm Sustainability Project (VDFSP) was an
innovative, collaborative effort that brought together various dairy industry
representatives, along with university extension, to address water quality and
economic issues through an integrated animal-crop enterprise approach.
Participants, in addition to the farmers themselves, included a dairy processing
company, a dairy cooperative, feed and fertilizer suppliers, crop and feed
consultants, and university Extension. The project was supported by funding from
Ben and Jerry's, NE-SARE (USDA), the Ben and Jerry's Foundation, and the Windham
objectives were to:
1) document whole-farm N and P
feed enterprise on eight dairy farms (7 in VT, one in NY)
recommend economical N and P balance improvement strategies and
document impacts of strategies and practices implemented
collected pre- and post-implementation to assess N and P balance and to
recommend and evaluate improved nutrient management practices.
recommendations programs and a dairy nutrition model (Cornell Net
and Protein System) were used, in combination with manure, forage and
analyses and measured animal feed intakes, to document baseline
recommend improvements in animal and crop nutrient management
practices, and to
evaluate changes post-implementation.
reduction, improved manure management, reduced feed P, and ration
to improve N balance. Seven of eight farms reduced N and/or P
acre. Results demonstrate improved whole farm N and/or P balance using
available feed and crop management tools.
In some cases, significant cost savings were achieved.
Greg Weber discusses plans with cooperating farmer and crop advisor
information for Phosphorus Index.
collects GPS data for soil test variability study on project farm.
For More Detailed Information and
Final Report (SARE)
Other Related Links
Northeast SARE Program
Crops and Soils: Nutrients and Manure
This site was prepared by Dr. Bill
Jokela, former Interim Project Coordinator, currently Research Soil
Scientist, USDA-ARS, US Dairy Forage Research Center, Marshfield,
This site is maintained by Sid.Bosworth@uvm.edu,
Plant & Soil Science Department, University of Vermont.
Issued in furtherance of
Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with
United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont.University of Vermont Extension and U.S. Department
of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone
without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age,
political beliefs, or marital or familial status