Whole-farm perspectives of nutrient flows in grassland agriculture

Clarence Alan Rotz, F. Taube, M. P. Russelle, J. Oenema, M. A. Sanderson, M. Wachendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

96 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Grassland agriculture is an important industry for livestock production and land management throughout the world. We review the principles of nutrient cycling in grassland agriculture, discuss examples of grassland farming systems research, and demonstrate the usefulness of whole-farm simulation for integrating economic and environmental components. Comprehensive studies conducted at the Karkendamm experimental farm in northern Germany and the De Marke experimental farm in the Netherlands have quantified nutrient flows and developed innovative strategies to reduce nutrient losses in grassland farming systems. This research has focused on improving the utilization of manure nutrients on the farm by including grain crops in cropping systems with grassland and by incorporating manure handling techniques that reduce nitrogen losses. Although the information generated in experimental farms is not always directly applicable to other climates and soils, it is being transferred to other regions through computer simulation. A whole-farm model calibrated and verified with the experimental farm data is being used to evaluate and refine these strategies for commercial farms in other areas. Simulation of farms in northern Europe illustrate that on the sandy soils of this region, maize (Zea mays L.) silage can be used along with grasslands to increase farm profitability while maintaining or reducing nutrient loss to the environment. Use of cover crops, low emission barns, covered manure storages, and direct injection of manure into soil greatly reduces N losses from these farms, but their use creates a net cost to the producer. By integrating experimental farm data with whole-farm simulation, more sustainable grassland production systems can be cost-effectively evaluated, refined, and transferred to commercial production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2139-2159
Number of pages21
JournalCrop Science
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

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demonstration farms
grasslands
agriculture
farms
nutrients
animal manures
farming systems
manure handling
farm profitability
manure storage
farm area
commercial farms
Northern European region
barns
livestock production
cover crops
grain crops
land management
computer simulation
silage

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Rotz, C. A., Taube, F., Russelle, M. P., Oenema, J., Sanderson, M. A., & Wachendorf, M. (2005). Whole-farm perspectives of nutrient flows in grassland agriculture. Crop Science, 45(6), 2139-2159. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2004.0523
Rotz, Clarence Alan ; Taube, F. ; Russelle, M. P. ; Oenema, J. ; Sanderson, M. A. ; Wachendorf, M. / Whole-farm perspectives of nutrient flows in grassland agriculture. In: Crop Science. 2005 ; Vol. 45, No. 6. pp. 2139-2159.
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Rotz, CA, Taube, F, Russelle, MP, Oenema, J, Sanderson, MA & Wachendorf, M 2005, 'Whole-farm perspectives of nutrient flows in grassland agriculture', Crop Science, vol. 45, no. 6, pp. 2139-2159. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2004.0523

Whole-farm perspectives of nutrient flows in grassland agriculture. / Rotz, Clarence Alan; Taube, F.; Russelle, M. P.; Oenema, J.; Sanderson, M. A.; Wachendorf, M.

In: Crop Science, Vol. 45, No. 6, 01.11.2005, p. 2139-2159.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Rotz CA, Taube F, Russelle MP, Oenema J, Sanderson MA, Wachendorf M. Whole-farm perspectives of nutrient flows in grassland agriculture. Crop Science. 2005 Nov 1;45(6):2139-2159. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2004.0523