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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Dairy Gas Emissions Model (DairyGEM)

The Dairy Gas Emissions Model (DairyGEM) uses process level simulation and process related emission factors to predict ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, VOC and greenhouse gas emissions along with the carbon, energy and water footprints of dairy production systems.

Agroecosystems & Environment

AgAR (Agricultural Antibiotic Resistance)

An Environmental Component of a "One Health" approach, the mission of the Agricultural Antibiotic Resistance (AgAR) project is to

  • develop practical tools and protocols to measure antibiotic drugs, resistant bacteria and resistance genes in agriculturally-impacted soil, water, air, and food;
  • design and evaluate agricultural
Agroecosystems & Environment

Data from: Underestimation of N2O emissions in a comparison of the DayCent, DNDC, and EPIC 1 models

Process-based models are increasingly used to study mass and energy fluxes from agro-ecosystems, including nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural fields. This data set is the output of three process-based models – DayCent, DNDC, and EPIC – which were used to simulate fluxes of N2O from dairy farm soils. The individual models' output and the ensemble mean output were evaluated against field observations from two agricultural research stations in Arlington, WI and Marshfield, WI. These sites utilize cropping systems and nitrogen fertilizer management strategies common to Midwest dairy farms.

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Data from: Gas emissions from dairy barnyards

To assess the magnitude of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, nutrient runoff and leaching from dairy barnyards and to characterize factors controlling these fluxes, nine barnyards were built at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center Farm in Prairie du Sac, WI (latitude 43.33N, longitude 89.71W). The barnyards were designed to simulate outdoor cattle-holding areas on commercial dairy farms in Wisconsin. Each barnyard was approximately 7m x 7m; areas of barnyards 1-9 were 51.91, 47.29, 50.97, 46.32, 45.64, 46.30, 48.93, 48.78, 46.73 square meters, respectively. Factors investigated included three different surface materials (bark, sand, soil) and timing of cattle corralling. Each barnyard included a gravity drainage system that allowed leachate to be pumped out and analyzed. Each soil-covered barnyard also included a system to intercept runoff at the perimeter and drain to a pumping port, similar to the leachate systems.

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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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