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Grassland management to minimise the environmental impact of dairy farming

Code: 9781838791506
Margaret E. Graves, Dalhousie University, Canada; and Ralph C. Martin, University of Guelph, Canada

Chapter synopsis: Minimizing the environmental impact of dairy farming with perennial forage systems management is a complex process. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (enteric methane, nitrous oxide from soil and carbon dioxide from equipment and fertilizer use), adapt to the effects of climate change, reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses into the environment, improve soil health, promote biodiversity and optimize land use. Well-managed forage systems can reduce methane emissions and nitrate leaching, and minimize feeding of concentrates, which have a greater impact on the agro-ecosystem. This chapter explores emerging strategies such as management-intensive grazing and novel forage species, cultivars and mixtures. The chapter also presents research based and applied case studies of intensive grazing for dairy cows.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2016.0005.30
Table of contents1 Introduction: overview of the management of forage systems for dairy farming 2 Minimizing environmental impacts in perennial forage systems management:greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change 3 Minimizing environmental impacts in perennial forage systems management: soil quality, biodiversity and land use optimization 4 Case studies in management-intensive grazing (MIG) for dairy farming 5 Summary 6 Future trends in research 7 Where to look for further information 8 References

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