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Feed–milk–manure nitrogen relationships in global dairy production systems

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Nitrogen (N) inputs from fertilizer, biologically-fixed N, feed, and animal manure sustain productive agriculture. Agricultural systems are limited however in their ability to incorporate N into products, and environmental N losses may become local, regional and global concerns. The anticipated increases in global demand for food, especially for animal products, necessitate an urgent search for practices that enhance N use efficiency (NUE) and reduce environmental N loss. The objectives of this study were to determine feed–milk–manure N relationships for the global dairy herd, and to evaluate how well regional and production system determinations of these relationships correspond to measurements made under experimental conditions and on commercial dairy farms. Data on dairy cattle populations, feed and milk production from 142 countries were used in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) model to determine dry matter intake (DMI), N intake (NI), the percentage of NI secreted as milk N (NUE-milk), the percent of NI used by the whole-herd (NUE-herd), and manure N excretion (Nex). On a global basis, an average lactating cow weighs approximately 420 kg; per animal unit (AU=1000 kg live weight) daily DMI and NI are 21.0 kg and 477 g, respectively; annual milk production is 5000 kg/AU; and NUE-milk and NUE-herd are 16.0% and 15.6%, respectively. Approximately 37% of global lactating cows have NUE-milk of
J. M. Powell , M. MacLeod , T. V. Vellinga , C. Opio , A. Falcucci , G. Tempio , H. Steinfeld , P. Gerber
body weight , cattle manure , commercial farms , cow feeding , crop production , dairies , dairy cows , dairy herds , dry matter intake , excretion , feeds , life cycle assessment , milk , milk production , models , nitrogen , nitrogen fertilizers , nutrient intake , nutrient use efficiency , production technology
Livestock science 2013 v.152 no.2-3
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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