As I was enjoying the spring sunshine and pulling weeds out of the flower bed, I was thinking about how many generations that our family has been on this farm. Our two sons are the fourth generation to live and work on our farm. Family farms like ours exist today because farmers live and work on the land and understand the importance of protecting natural resources for the next generation. Recycling cow manure is a good example of how farmers protect the environment for future generations.
To protect our land and make use of the nutrient-rich animal manure that our dairy cows produce, we follow a nutrient management plan that is designed specifically for our farm by professionals at the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. Using the nutrient rich manure that our cows produce to fertilize our land makes good economic sense because it decreases the amount of commercial fertilizer that we may need to purchase. Animal manure also conditions the soil and increases the water holding capacity.
Soil samples are collected and tested yearly from every crop field and pasture where we land apply the nutrient-rich manure. These soil tests will tell us how much nutrient/animal manure can be applied for adequate fertilization and guide us to limit application if necessary. Following our farm plan and soil testing are best management practices that protect our natural resources for us, our community and the next generation. Dairy recycling fits perfectly with the sustainability commitment of dairy farm families to farm in a way that makes the dairy industry, people, and the Earth economically,environmentally and socially better--now and for future generations. You can find more information about dairy sustainability at http://www.usdairy.com. Dairy recycling is just one of the reasons that farmers celebrate Earth Day everyday!