Data from: Starch and dextrose at 2 levels of rumen-degradable protein in iso-nitrogenous diets: Effects on lactation performance, ruminal measurements, methane emission, digestibility, and nitrogen balance of dairy cows.

This feeding trial was designed to investigate two separate questions. The first question is, “What are the effects of substituting two non-fiber carbohydrate (NFC) sources at two rumen-degradable protein (RDP) levels in the diet on apparent total-tract nutrient digestibility, manure production and nitrogen (N) excretion in dairy cows?”. This is relevant because most of the N ingested by dairy cows is excreted, resulting in negative effects on environmental quality. The second question is, “Is phenotypic residual feed intake (pRFI) correlated with feed efficiency, N use efficiency, and metabolic energy losses (via urinary N and enteric CH4) in dairy cows?”. The pRFI is the difference between what an animal is expected to eat, given its level of productivity, and what it actually eats. The goal was to determine whether production of CH4, urinary N or fecal N is a driver of pRFI.

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Data from: Agro-environmental consequences of shifting from nitrogen- to phosphorus-based manure management of corn.

This experiment was designed to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes and related agronomic characteristics of a long-term corn-alfalfa rotational cropping system fertilized with manure (liquid versus semi-composted separated solids) from dairy animals. Different manure-application treatments were sized to fulfill two conditions: (1) an application rate to meet the agronomic soil nitrogen requirement of corn (“N-based” without manure incorporation, more manure), and (2) an application rate to match or to replace the phosphorus removal by silage corn from soils (“P-based” with incorporation, less manure). In addition, treatments tested the effects of liquid vs. composted-solid manure, and the effects of chemical nitrogen fertilizer. The controls consisted of non-manured inorganic N treatments (sidedress applications). These activities were performed during the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons as part of the Dairy Coordinated Agricultural Project, or Dairy CAP, as described below. The data from this experiment give insight into the factors controlling GHG emissions from similar cropping systems, and may be used for model calibration and validation after careful evaluation of the flagged data.

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NUOnet (Nutrient Use and Outcome Network) database

The Nutrient Uptake and Outcomes (NUOnet) database will be able to help establish baselines on nutrient use efficiencies; processes contributing to nutrient losses; and processes contributing to optimal crop yield, nutritional and organoleptic quality. This national database could be used to calculate many different environmental indicators from a comprehensive understanding of nutrient stocks and flows.

Agroecosystems & Environment

Low-Disturbance Manure Incorporation

The LDMI experiment (Low-Disturbance Manure Incorporation) was designed to evaluate nutrient losses with conventional and improved liquid dairy manure management practices in a corn silage (Zea mays) / rye cover-crop (Secale cereale) system. The improved manure management treatments were designed to incorporate manure while maintaining crop residue for erosion control. Field observations included greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from soil, soil nutrient concentrations, crop growth and harvest biomass and nutrient content, as well as monitoring of soil physical and chemical properties. Observations from LDMI have been used for parameterization and validation of computer simulation models of GHG emissions from dairy farms (Gaillard et al., submitted). The LDMI experiment was performed as part of the Dairy CAP.

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Manure application methods for alfalfa-grass

The MAMA experiment (Manure Application Methods for Alfalfa-Grass), from the USDA-ARS research station in Marshfield, WI was designed to evaluate nutrient and pathogen losses with conventional and improved liquid dairy manure management practices for alfalfa-grass production. Observations from MAMA have also been used for parameterization and validation of computer simulation models of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from dairy farms.

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