NRC Recommendations for Dairy Cows


This fact sheet has been developed to support the implementation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service Feed Management 592 Practice Standard. The Feed Management 592 Practice Standard was adopted by NRCS in 2003 as another tool to assist with addressing resource concerns on livestock and poultry operations. Feed management can assist with reducing the import of nutrients to the farm and reduce the excretion of nutrients in manure.

Please check this link first if you are interested in organic

Feed Management Planning as a Tool to Reduce Nutrient Excretion

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Why is Feed Management Important to Nutrient Planning?

Feed represents the largest import of nutrients to the farm, followed by commercial fertilizer. Feed management practices impact the amount of nutrients that are imported to the farm and excreted in manure. The excreted nutrients are subsequently available for volatile loss (nitrogen) to the atmosphere and potentially lost via surface runoff (nitrogen and phosphorus) or leached to ground water (nitrogen and phosphorus).

Nutrient management planning addresses the proper distribution of manure nutrients, …

Dairy Strategies With Expensive Corn

Farmers across the country are dealing with high grain prices. A University of Illinois Extension Specialist explains some feeding alternatives and signals to monitor when decreasing starch in the ration.

Mike Hutjens
Extension Dairy Specialist
University of Illinois, Urbana

Shelled corn prices continue to climb as ethanol production uses corn grain as a fuel source. The challenge (the “3F functions”) for future corn uses will be:

•food for human consumption and use
•fuel for transportation
•feed for livestock

Livestock managers …

Dairy Crossbreeding: Why and How

There has been some renewed interest in dairy crossbreeding as it offers some important advantages. Learn more about why you should consider crossbreeding and how crossbreeding works here.


Compost Bedded Pack Barns for Dairy Cows

Compost Dairy Barns

Dairy housing systems have a substantial impact on the overall health and longevity of dairy cattle. A compost bedded pack barn (generally known as a compost dairy barn) is an alternative loose housing system for dairy cows that appears to offer very good cow comfort for lactating, dry, and special needs cows. The first compost dairy barn in Minnesota was built in late 2001 by Portner Brothers from Sleepy Eye. Many more have been built in the …

Costs of Slurry Manure Application and Transport

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Manure Value and Economics

Livestock such as dairy and swine often have slurry type manure. The manure is liquid but does not flow easily. It is either stored directly below the animal pens, or scraped or pumped periodically into a holding pen outside of the building.

Loading Slurry Manure

Loading slurry manure is accomplished with a pump powered by a tractor or stationary engine. The slurry can be loaded …

Dairy Feed Nutrient Management Fact Sheets

Introduction to Feed Management and Developing a Feed Management Plan

It is strongly recommended that you read these introductory fact sheets before the dairy-specific ones.

Feed Management on Small Livestock Farms

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Why Is Feed Management Important?

Nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture sources can affect water quality. These nutrients are required for plant and animal growth, but too much in agricultural runoff can result in environmental and health concerns. This fact sheet provides some guidelines to help livestock producers, especially those on small farms, reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses by monitoring and/or changing feeding and management practices. This can result in less waste and ultimately a healthier, cleaner, and safer environment. …