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Extension > Agriculture > Manure Management and Air Quality > Manure Application > Introduction to case studies

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Introduction to case studies

Randy Pepin, University of Minnesota Extension and Les Everett, University of Minnesota Water Resources Center

The case studies listed below demonstrate the economic and environmental value of, and strategies for, balancing imports versus exports of phosphorus entering and leaving Minnesota dairy and beef finishing farms.

When annual imports exceed exports, soil test phosphorus builds up to excessive levels, creating a risk of increased phosphorus in runoff. This problem is often more acute on farms with limited acreage for manure spreading relative to the number of livestock maintained.

Case study names and strategies

Acquire more land

Strategy: Reduce net phosphorus imports and increase exports farm by acquiring more crop land through lease, purchase, or exchange.

Eliminate starter fertilizer, beef

Strategy: Eliminate starter fertilizer on high soil test phosphorus fields on beef feedlot farms.

Eliminate starter fertilizer, dairy

Strategy: Eliminate starter fertilizer on high soil test phosphorus fields on dairy farms.

Export manure

Strategy: Export dairy pen-pack manure.

Incorporate manure

Strategy: Incorporate manure immediately to conserve nitrogen and allow lower application rates to meet crop nitrogen needs.

Increase crop production on existing fields

Strategy: Reduce excessive soil-test phosphorus buildup by increasing crop production from existing acres for feed or sale.

Reduce feed waste

Strategy: Reduce feed waste to reduce imported phosphorus.

Reduce ration phosphorus

Strategy: Reduce lactation phosphorus to NRC recommended levels.

Stop importing manure

Strategy: Stop importing poultry manure used for nitrogen fertilization.

Funding: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act Section 319 grant administered through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

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