Sustainable systems of dairy production

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Sustainable systems of dairy production - WestVic Dairy

DEPARTMENT OF

PRIMARY INDUSTRIES

Sustainable systems of dairy production

– a review of water quality, biodiversity, soil

salinity/acidity, farm forestry, shade/shelter and

productivity issues, and the likely impact on these of

revegetation of dairy farms

PR Bird

Pastoral & Veterinary Institute, Hamilton

April 2003

This report is a component of WestVic Dairy’s

2002/03 GHCMA/NAP project:

“Investigations into the role of trees in

protecting water quality and biodiversity

on dairy farms in SW Victoria”


© The State of Victoria

Department of Primary Industry

Disclaimer

This report may be of assistance to

you but the State of Victoria and its

employees do not guarantee that it is

without flaw of any kind or is wholly

appropriate for your particular

purpose and therefore disclaims all

liability for any error, loss or other

consequence which may arise from

you relying on any information in this

report.


Overview of project

Sustainable systems of dairy production -

a review of water quality, biodiversity, soil

salinity/acidity, farm forestry, shade/shelter and

productivity issues, and the likely impact on these

of revegetation of dairy farms

Introduction

The purpose of this introductory section is to outline the reasons for the review, the context, and the

methods employed. Chapters 1-6 will then provide details of the outcome of the review.

This is a review of factors that affect sustainable systems of dairy production and impacts on water

quality, biodiversity, soil salinity and acidity. The review also examines the role/need of shelter/shade

and the integration of farm forestry onto dairy farms, and the likely impact of revegetation of dairy

farms in Victoria on agricultural and environmental outcomes in the short, medium and long term.

Outcomes of interest are the impact of extent and design of revegetation on:

1. Sustainable systems of dairy production

2. Biodiversity

3. Water quality in streams & ground

4. Soil salinity & acidity

5. Shelter effects on productivity, health & welfare of livestock

6. Farm forestry/agroforestry (including browse)

Revegetation is taken to include retention and restoration or expansion of existing remnants as well as

the establishment of new belts or blocks of vegetation in the landscape. Revegetation primarily

suggests the re-establishment of indigenous (locally-native) vegetation in the form of trees, shrubs,

grasses and other understorey plants. However, revegetation may also include a portion of native

plants not indigenous to the area, where these have a specific function that cannot be provided from

the indigenous species. This might include species that provide shade, shelter, forage, timber, fruit or

other attributes, including those with an ability to stabilise saline land.

The aim of this review is to make a comprehensive search of world literature to establish the likely

impact of investment in revegetation on biodiversity and water quality, as well as impacts on

agricultural production. Impacts (negative and positive) on agriculture are important because that will

affect decisions that farmers make about the design or extent of revegetation. This review should

allow for a more focussed approach to furthering the objectives of WestVic Dairy’s 1991 regional

action plan for the dairy industry:

• To improve the region’s natural resources so that they can be used efficiently and productively,

with minimal off-site impact

• To identify research, extension and policy needs for the industry

The dairy industry will continue to improve the level of production and efficiency of production in

order to remain viable. However, this must be done in a way that that does not compromise long-term

sustainability of farming, or produce manifestly adverse off-site impacts on the environment. In doing

so, the industry would be achieving some of the stated aims of the GHCMA Regional Conservation

Strategy. Further, as society becomes more affluent, people are beginning to demand that their food is

produced in a way that satisfies the “clean and green” image and a higher standard of animal welfare.

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Some consequences of increasing intensification in the dairy industry and possible

mitigation of adverse impacts:

1. Need for better protection from environmental stress, in order to produce at a high level

• Shade and heat stress – providing more shade may prevent heat stress on some days in

summer in southern Victoria, particularly when humidity is high.

• Shelter and heat loss – shelter prevents heat loss under adverse weather conditions,

particularly in association with muddy yards, rain and high windspeed (feed intake may

not be affected but the efficiency of feed conversion to milk or meat may suffer). Despite

some efforts over the years, no good evidence has been provided in southern Victoria that

total milk production is affected by providing shelter.

• Shelter and pasture production – there is some evidence that shelter increases pasture

production in the sheltered zone although, with wide belts, this may not offset the loss in

production associated with the area planted to trees and the loss in the competitive zone

immediately adjacent to the shelterbelt. There is good evidence that shelter improves the

efficiency of use of spray-applied irrigation water.

2. Animal welfare considerations

• Greater numbers of animals on smaller areas – a possibility of increased stress

• Increasing perceptions of the public that more needs to be done - greater visibility of

animals during inclement weather (shade and storms) as a result of greater animal

numbers

3. Increased pollution of waterways with nutrients

• More intensive grazing (and higher stocking pressure and soil compaction) increases the

likelihood of runoff - shelterbelts, timberbelts or riparian buffer strips could reduce the

amount of nutrients reaching the stream from paddocks

• Small woodlots could use effluent from dairies and other sources

4. Increased pollution of groundwater with chemicals

• More intensive grazing and/or the possibility of intensive housed dairy units will increase

the load of imported nutrients that need to be discharged – this will increase the leakage

of nitrate and P into groundwater and streams

• Riparian buffer strips and other belts of trees could reduce infiltration of fertilisers,

pesticides, herbicides, veterinary chemicals, fuels, etc. into groundwater and streams

5. Increased salinisation of farm land

• Salinised soil arises as a consequence of rising saline groundwater, following irrigation or

removal of the original vegetation that used more of the rainfalls – whether revegetation

will mitigate these effects is conditional upon many factors.

6. Increased acidification of farm land

• Soil acidification arises as a consequence of applying fertiliser or growing pasture

legumes – incorporation of trees into the system may possibly mitigate these effects

7. Environmental/landscape concerns as the result of increased clearing of landscapes

• Pressure to produce more per hectare leads to clearance of existing native flora, some

inadvertently, resulting in much less diversity of native birds and other animals in the

region - shelterbelts/timberbelts would offer habitat for some species of wildlife (and

some pests)

• Increasing loss of local flora – provision of buffer strips or corridors may result in some

restoration of local flora.

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Potential benefits of incorporating timber trees into dairy farms

• Diversification of production - high rainfall, fertile sites are capable of growing a range of

timber species at favourable growth rates. Species such as radiata pine, macrocarpa cypress,

Mexican cypress, Californian redwood, Douglas fir, Sydney blue gum, rose gum, spotted gum,

messmate, blackwood, silver wattle, river sheoak (and more) could be grown on certain sites.

Timber enterprises can be potentially very profitable. In high rainfall areas it is probable that

the combined enterprise may be more profitable than either alone.

• More efficient use of land resource - timber species can be grown either in narrow belts or in

small woodlots (in areas that may not be attractive for grazing) - systems of production have

been investigated in New Zealand, particularly for radiata pine, and would be appropriate in

Victoria. Where other species are used, some adaptation/experimentation is needed.

• More efficient use of labour resource - the farmer may be in a position to perform the

necessary pruning and thinning of the timber trees - this would substantially improve the

profitability of the enterprise.

• Biodiversity benefits - belts can be modified to improve wildlife habitat and conservation

• Shelter benefits - timberbelts can be designed to cater for more complete shelter requirements

Potential negative impacts of trees on dairy farms

• Shading of pasture in winter, with reduced pasture growth or attractiveness to cows

• Shading effects preventing drying of lanes in winter - muddy lanes

• Chemicals in cypress (possibly causing abortion) and sugar gums (wilting foliage has HCN)

• Root competition with adjacent pasture - this depends on species, age, site and spacing

• Reduced grazing land for cows - the shelter effects of windbreaks on the pasture and/or directly

on the animals (energy sparing) may offset this loss.

• Potential harbour for feral animals, pest plants and disease.

Method of review

In addition to references known to me from other research and experience, a general computer-search

of the literature was conducted, using the NRE LibWeb system.

The three major sources were:

1. Elixir Library Catalogue (accessing all information held in NRE libraries)

2. Ovid Current Contents (for entries in Current Contents for the last 52 weeks)

3. WebSPIRS CD-ROM Databases (CAB Abstracts for the years since 1972. The search of CAB

database was done using dairy* as the main term and associated (using “and”) in turn with one or

more (using “or”) of 9 combination of terms, viz.:

A. dairy* and (tree* or shrub* or forest* or agroforest* or vegetat* or revegetat* or riparian or

buffer strip* or corridor* or windbreak* or shelter* or shade) and (ecolog* or ecosystem* or

sustainab* or biodiversity or wildlife or water quality or salini* or heat stress or cold stress

B. dairy* and (windbreak* or shelter* or shade or shading or heat stress or cold stress)

C. dairy* and (riparian or buffer strip* or corridor*)

D. dairy* and (ecolog* or ecosystem* or sustainab*).

E. dairy* and (tree* or shrub*)

F. dairy* and (vegetat* or revegetat*)

G. dairy* and (farm forest* or agroforest*)

H. dairy* and (water quality or salini*)

I. dairy* and (biodiversity or wildlife)

The first combination was used as a narrow focus on the subject. Additional references obtained from

the other combinations were used later. This was conducted for the last 30 years (1972-2002),

generally for runs of 1972-83, 1984-92 and 1993-2002. The term ‘biodiversity’ appeared only in the

latter period. Terms such as ‘sustainability’ or ‘sustainable’ also appear more in the last period,

although in the early years the term is seldom used to denote the sustainability of ecological processes.

3


This process generated many thousands of records – of these some 6,800 were ‘ticked’ because, at a

glance, they appeared to be relevant. These ticked ‘hits’ were saved to 9 files (A-I). This type of

search is inevitably an hit-or-miss process. The success of this process depends on the choice of

search terms and the degree to which the subject matter appears in the abstracts and titles. The terms

chosen were intended to capture as much of the relevant literature as possible within the time

constraints imposed. Some terms were not particularly useful. For example, dairy* and (vegetat* or

revegetat*) is the subject of this review but use of these terms gained only 39 possibly useful hits from

a total of 500 hits (8%) for the period 1972-2002 – and most of these useful hits were also obtained

through the use of other terms. Using dairy* and (ecolog* or ecosystem* or sustainab*) as terms

resulted in 245 possibly useful hits of 2214 hits (11%) for 1972-2002. There is much tedious trawling

– and repetition of abstracts retrieved with different search keywords - to be done in order that

significant papers are not missed. Despite such problems, this approach is the only time-effective

method of searching the world literature.

In all, 1020 entries of the 6,800 ‘hits’ originally ticked from those listed were regarded as potentially

useful and saved to the various file name categories for further inspection. Of these, the approximate

breakdown into the categories A-I were 12, 24, 1, 24, 6, 4, 14, 10 and 5%. Of these ‘hits’, many were

found for the last 10-year period than for earlier periods. Thus, for the periods 1972-82, 1983-1992

and 1993-2002, the percentage of total hits were 13, 23 and 64%, respectively.

Titles/abstracts from the selected 1020 ‘hits’ in the electronic literature search were then scrutinised to

find those that were relevant to the 6 nominated outcomes of revegetation on dairy farms. Inevitably,

there was considerable repetition of papers selected using the 9 major search fields, although many

had been eliminated in the early scrutiny. The useful references were listed in a bibliography for each

section.

An electronic literature search can only be effective to a point. Information was also obtained from

specific knowledge of the subject areas and the related scientific literature. It was expected that there

would be a dearth of information that stemmed directly from research or experience from dairy farms,

therefore considerable extrapolation from other studies has been required to build a picture.

The results of this investigation have been presented as 6 separate chapter topics:

1. Sustainable systems of dairy production

2. Biodiversity

3. Water quality in streams & ground

4. Soil salinity & acidity

5. Shelter effects on productivity, health & welfare of livestock

6. Farm forestry/agroforestry (including browse)

Bibliography - in each topic, a separate list of references is provided. It will become obvious that

there was considerable overlap between topics, e.g. Sustainable Systems and Water Quality, and

therefore some references cited in one chapter may be found in the reference list in the other chapter.

Abstracts - each chapter contains an alphabetical list of summaries to all papers reviewed, whether

cited in the main body of the chapter or not. This approach has been taken so that anyone who

requires information or leads to a particular line of inquiry not directly addressed in the body of the

chapter may find it in the Abstracts. The summaries have, in the main, been taken from the CAB

abstracts, with considerable adaptation of style and reduction of content. Time did not permit of

standardising all of the terms and reporting used by the various authors of the abstracts.

CD version - an electronic version of the report, including all of the references and summaries, is

attached to this report.

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Chapter 1.

Sustainable systems of dairy production

Introduction

Dairy farming in the 3 major dairy regions in Victoria is currently based on year-round pasture

grazing, with some fodder and grain crops, a relatively low-cost system of production. Irrigation is

used in the northern region of Victoria over the summer months to sustain production from pastures.

Peak production occurs in October/Nov and a trough in May-June-July. There is an increasing trend

towards more intensive production systems, with more grain being fed and more fertiliser being

applied (AD 2000). While feedlot-based systems are presently uncommon, there are at least 2 now

established in the SW region that have cow numbers around 1200-1400. The numbers of dairy farms

has been slowly declining over the past 30 years while total production has been increasing, as a result

of greater production per cow and greater numbers of cows (AD 2000). Of the milk produced, 92%

goes into products such as butter, cheese and powders, while 8% is processed for sale in liquid form.

Over 60% of the manufactured products are exported and almost 50% of the milk.

The DPI Dairy Program Project 2 aims to deliver on soil, water and nutrient management issues, while

Project 1 aims to increase the rate of adoption of efficient and sustainable farming practices. ‘Target

10’ is the main vehicle for this aspect of the Dairy Strategy (AD 2000).

There are relatively large benefits in improving pasture production in dryland areas – either by

irrigation or by using grain supplements. (AD 2000). The greatest gains occur when production can be

boosted in winter.

There are no large benefits in improving the efficiency of use of irrigation water, where run-off is

commonly up to 20%; productivity gains are expected to be only 0.2%, although there are obvious

environmental gains to be had by improving the efficiency of water use and nutrient recycling from

run-off water (AD 2000).

The push for greater production – involving more heavy application of fertilisers and greater imports

of feedstuffs, will result in greater percolation of nutrients to the deep groundwater and run-off of

nutrients into streams and groundwater (Brown 1998). Thus, it was estimated that 27% of the P and

12% of N leaving the Goulbourn-Broken Catchment was from irrigation drainage– some 5.2 kg/ha of

P and 13.1 kg/ha of N during the irrigation season (WQWG 1995). This run-off is a contributing

factor to the increased incidence of algal blooms observed in streams and lakes (Anon. 1995). An

increased recharge also results in increased soil salinity in the irrigation areas (Brown 1998). Surface

run-off from rain-fed systems is considerably less, possibly 1-5% of annual rainfall (Greenhill et al.

1983; Nash & Murdoch 1997), but depending upon soil type, vegetation and other factors.

Factors for change

As indicated above, increasing concentration upon productivity gains will cause environmental

problems that will have to be addressed. Many factors will affect the future of dairy landscapes. It is

interesting to reflect upon a few of these, as indicated in the current literature, and consider likely

implications for biodiversity, water quality and other outcomes in the landscape. A more detailed

analysis of effects on biodiversity is found in Chapter 2 and on water quality in streams and

groundwater in Chapter 3 of this review.

Intensive agriculture in The Netherlands has a price in the form of environmental degradation and the

diminution of nature and landscape values (ten Berge et al. 2000). A reorientation of farming is

needed to find a new balance between economic goals and rural employment, and care for clean water

and air, animal well-being, safe food, and the preservation of soil, landscape and biodiversity. The

search for farm systems that meet such multiple goals requires a systematic combination of (a) agrotechnical,

agro-ecological and agro-economic knowledge, with (b) the stakeholders' joint agreement

on normative objectives, to arrive at conceptual new designs followed by (c) empirical work to test,

adapt and refine these under real commercial farming conditions (ten Berge et al. 2000).

5


The production of large quantities of nitrogenous waste, resulting from the importation of large

quantities of nitrogen into intensive animal production units, is the major environmental problem for

lowland animal production in The Netherlands. The development of systems that allow these waste

products to be re-used at sites of primary crop production is seen as a sustainable solution to this

problem (Atkinson & Watson 1996). Satter & Wu (2000) suggest that areas with high livestock

densities will have to transport manure nutrients over larger distances to avoid over-application of

nutrients or, alternatively, relocate animals to where cropland is available for manure application. Full

crediting of manure nutrients will be essential, and switching to phosphorus standard is inevitable.

Prospects for preservation of biodiversity may occur from chance factors, including the fact that the

push for modern intensive agriculture has, for a number of reasons, not been economically successful

in a particular region. This has given a breathing space in which the advantages of eco-tourism have

been discovered. Thus, Blazquez et al. (1995) consider that the rural environment in Extremadura,

Spain, has been well conserved and the region is now considered to be one of the best nature reserves

in Europe. They highlighted the role animals play: (1) livestock production which fulfils the tourist

demand for meat, artisan cheese, leather and textiles; (2) animals which can be seen in their natural

environment in the reserve, or which can be hunted as small game; and (3) animals as part of local

culture, such as bullfighting, equestrian displays, and local festivals involving animals.

Schmit & Knoblauch (1995) looked at the economic impact of complying with restrictions on N loss

on New York dairy farms. Two representative farms were developed for dairies with 60 or 250 cows

that used manure handling systems of no storage and daily spreading or 6 months of storage and

biannual spreading respectively. Both farms were affected by the imposition of restrictions on N loss;

profitability decreases were smaller on the larger farm, partially because of better conservation and

more efficient utilization of manure nutrients. Optimal cow numbers per hectare decreased by 35% on

the smaller farm as restrictions on N loss intensified. When the initial hectares were retained, the rates

of return to equity capital decreased by >150 and 100% on the farms with 60 and 250 cows,

respectively. When hectare adjustments were optimal the rates of return to equity capital were 47 and

42% on the 60- and 250-cow farms, respectively. Whether dairy farmers are able to make hectare

adjustments under restrictions on N loss may determine future sustainability and survival of the

farming operations. If additional hectares are not available or feasible to acquire, herd reductions may

be necessary to meet restrictions of N loss, decreasing profitability even further.

1. Attitudes and future expectations of the industry

Richardson (2003) gives a good example of changing attitudes and the impact of that on landuse. The

Kielder forest, the largest man-made forest in northern Europe, was planted along the English-Scottish

border. The first Spruce trees were planted in 1926 and it now covers 60,000 ha of land. It replaced

extensive areas of moorland. But changing attitudes since the 1970s mean that large rural industries

like agriculture and forestry can no longer pursue single-purpose objectives. Clear-felling of large

coupes is no longer permitted - size now varies from 5 ha in the visible areas to 100 ha in the high

plateau areas, rather than being several hundred ha. Age diversification is also now required, to create

a patchwork of age-classes. Felling coupes are obliged to follow contours rather than convenience.

Even the method of log extraction has changed in areas susceptible to erosion; horses will be used

instead of tractors. After harvest, some areas will not be replanted leaving gaps and corridors,

particularly riparian strips, of open space for birds and other animals. The bigger picture has to be

considered now, in the quest for sustainable systems of production that are environmentally acceptable

– economics of that enterprise alone is no longer the sole criterion for management of the enterprise.

The Australian dairy industry report (van Heeswijck et al. 1994) indicates that the major departmental

and industry concerns in the mid 1990s were on production, co-incidentally the main business of

biotechnologists. From that point of view it is understandable that the report provides a valuable longterm

vision for production but little interest in other matters. However, reference was made to future

“reduced requirements for chemical inputs, including pesticides” and “more efficient use of soil

nutrients”.

Hermans & Vereijken (1992) used a model to integrate animal husbandry and nature conservation on

peat grassland in Netherlands. It included a subdivision of the farm in production-grassland and

nature-grassland, such as marsh marigold hayfield and blue grassland. Some areas of production-

6


grassland have to be converted completely into nature grassland as part of the National Ecological

Network; other such areas are partly to be maintained to serve the dairy industry.

Seligman et al. (1997) looked at the situation of agricultural production in Israel and the problems

faced. Less than half the cultivated area used for field crops is irrigated. In non-irrigated areas, the

main crops grown are wheat for grain and silage and several secondary crops, including sunflower,

watermelons and hay legumes. Animal production is predominantly intensive dairying, poultry

production, and aquaculture, all of which use large quantities of imported feed grains. Problems

include low prices for dryland crops, a small local market, and increasing input costs. The changing

socio-economic situation, reflected by decreasing employment in agriculture, has added to the

problems of proper land use. More appropriate production systems are needed. This includes

management for higher output/input ratios, conservation and enhancement of genetic resources, crop

diversification, integration of crop and livestock production, and alternative land use options such as

agroforestry, recreation, ecological refuges, and landscape enhancement. These challenges are

common to most countries in the Middle East.

Funck & Latus (1996) consider eco-marketing in the food industry with reference to the dairy industry

in Germany, particularly in relation to the 3 major current problems of lack of information, rising costs

and insufficient demand. Guidelines for successful ecological marketing are given.

Assuming that a change must be made to clean up our agricultural practice, how is one to approach the

matter – what change to farming practice will deliver an acceptable result in terms of environmental

indicators? Atkinson & Watson (1996) discuss the extent to which animal production can be

integrated into more holistic farming systems and the impact of livestock on wildlife biodiversity.

They consider the production of large quantities of nitrogenous waste, resulting from the importation

of large quantities of nitrogen into intensive animal production units, as the major environmental

problem for lowland animal production. The development of systems that allow these waste products

to be re-used at sites of primary crop production is a sustainable solution to this problem.

Hirata et al. (1996) used a simulation approach to search for management options for a lower-input

and sustainable system at the Sumiyoshi livestock farm, Japan. Simulations tested 100 scenarios that

included 3 levels of management and evaluated the system with various agricultural and ecological

indices. The system indicators showed considerable response to the management factors. Two

scenarios were suitable for a lower-input and sustainable system. Their management options were:

forage crop field 0.5 ha, permanent pasture 0.5 ha, animal number 6 and target liveweight gain 0.4

kg/head daily; forage crop field 0.75 ha, permanent pasture 0.25 ha, animal number 6 and target

liveweight gain 0.6 kg/head daily

Klausner et al. (1998) looked at a decision-making approach to animal and crop nutrient management

for dairy farms, to account for N, P and K budgets. The aim was to refine diets, adapt fertiliser inputs

and manure-spreading practices, refinement of diets and other management – their conclusion was that

the vast quantity of data required and the complexity of the analysis indicate that developing

computerized decision aid tools will be necessary to apply the process. However, Hutson et al. (1998)

looked at various scenarios for increased use of farm-produced forages, reduction in fertilizers, and

increased feed conversion to milk and concluded that these resulted in only minor improvements in the

nutrient imbalance on the New York State farm.

Wiborg & Rasmussen (1997) comment that there was a considerable change in number and size of

dairy farms in Danish agriculture from 1971-95 but these could not be shown to have been influenced

by events such as changes in agricultural policy and economic development. Line (1986) discussed

the intensification of dairying in the UK, where average annual milk yields trebled over the last 50

years and in 1983 exceeded 5,000 litres per cow. This increase in production has been partly achieved

by advances in breeding and feeding techniques, but economic pressures have resulted in a rapid

intensification of dairying as farmers try to stay in business. During 1968/69-1978/79, herds of 100 cows increased from 16 to 39%. Fewer

men, with approx. same number of cows concentrated into much larger herds, are producing a

gradually increasing quantity of milk.

7


AIC (1997) conducted “A full repairing lease: inquiry into ecologically sustainable land management”

that included agricultural landuse, biodiversity, diversification, flora and fauna, conservation on

private land, ESD, intergenerational equity, salinity, soil acidification, soil structure decline, weeds,

pests, surface water, groundwater, impacts of irrigation, urban expansion etc.

Rauniyar & Parker (1999) surveyed farmers in New Zealand and found that respondents were

generally supportive of measures to maintain and enhance a 'clean and green' image for agriculture,

providing these measures could be implemented profitably. They were generally opposed to fencingoff

all waterways from livestock and the notion of restricting weed control to only non-chemical

methods. Farmers regard the economic viability of pastoral farming as the dominant factor

determining the sustainability of their livestock farming businesses. It is likely that Australian dairy

farmers will also regard economic sustainability as a fundamental condition for the adoption of

technologies and management practices that will help to achieve the goal of sustainable agriculture.

Lacroix (1981) noted that the 1970s saw a swing in public opinion away from the modernization of

French agriculture that begun in the 1960s. This new view resulted from workers' awareness of the

reduction in number of small farmers, the pressures on those remaining from the production demands

by processing companies, the Credit Agricole, and the exploitation of peasant labour.

Wibberley (1983) considers that the idea of moving towards an agriculture of small grassland farms

with more land available for recreation, wildlife and conservation, while attractive, is neither

economically nor technically realistic. Small grassland farms are only economic if handled

intensively, most probably as intensive dairy cow units, and this would merely add to surpluses.

Molyneux et al. (1982) discuss the subject of infection and disease of domesticated food-producing

animals and their effect on wildlife conservation. The badger is a vector for bovine tuberculosis but,

in the face of an enormous surplus of milk, why not remove dairy cattle from prime badger territory,

rather than exterminating the badger? It is a question of attitude and a willingness to change.

Wojcicki (2001) has engaged in some crystal ball-gazing, to predict what might happen to Polish

agriculture in 20 years time. He predicted that by 2020, approximately 450,000 farms of high

commercial production will cover 11-12 million ha arable land, of which 1 million ha will be devoted

for intensive production of 'ecological food' and the rest for agricultural allotments and afforestation.

The analysed model family farms showed a positive economic and energy consumption efficiency,

thus fulfilling the EU requirements for environmental protection and development of the rural areas.

Approximately 100,000 effective farms with the average acreage of 100 ha arable land each would be

completely sufficient. However, because of the social implications and increasing unemployment, the

agricultural policy should support a greater number of commercial family farms, thus, assuring

employment and equitable income for rural and village population.

Pease & Bosch (1994) surveyed dairy and grain producers’ opinions on fertilization practices and

potential to damage water quality in two regions of Virginia, USA. Most expressed concern about

water quality, but claimed that it was not serious on their farms. Few considered sites with known

high potential for water quality damage to be a high risk. A small proportion agreed with fertilizer

practices that may adversely affect water quality and they applied significantly more N than other

farmers, and at higher than recommended rates. Livestock farmers showed greater awareness than

cropland farmers that their farms could contribute to water quality problems.

2. Regulation and policy

Future regulations will drive industry changes to meet the targets. Thus, van Os et al. (1997) have

examined the impact of quantity/quality of locally produced forage on milk yield and nitrogen

utilization efficiency of grassland-based dairy farms in Netherlands, which also meet future standards

for ammonia emission. The scenario of a higher DM yield, together with an increased net energy of

forage :N excretion ratio, resulted in a farming system that could operate in balance with the

ecosystem. It would safeguard the structure of the soil, support the soil microflora and improve nonfertilizer

N supply.

8


Livestock buildings in Germany have to adhere to fundamental requirements (Seufert et al. 1999).

The law for animal protection of 1998 stipulates that farm buildings must be adequate to meet the

needs of the animals and their behaviour. This also includes the special training, care, and reliability

of those working with the animals. Building regulations are clearly laid down in the architectural

planning and building law. The rules for shelter against rain are most important.

Hofer & Harder (1995) remark that Swiss agriculture and agricultural policy was being transformed,

starting in 1993 with the introduction of two new types of direct payments to farmers for production

forgone. As ecology becomes integrated in incomes policy almost all land used by agriculture will, in

the medium term, be cultivated according to integrated production or organic farming regulations.

Longhurst et al. (2000) review published data on chemical and physical characteristics of farm dairy

effluent (FDE) in New Zealand. Treatment of FDE is mainly through land application, or through

oxidation ponds. Since the introduction of the Resource Management Act, 1991, regional councils

require dairy farmers to be more accountable for the management of FDE. Regulations have been

imposed to limit the application of N to land from FDE, and these limits range from 150 to 200 kg

N/ha per year.

Simon (1997) looked at ‘Agenda 2000: prospects for the Common Agricultural Policy’ in the

European Union (EU) – a strategy setting out general policy aims of improving the competitive

position of agriculture, liberalizing trade, greater market orientation of prices and structural

adjustments in parallel with measures to improve the economic potential of rural areas, protect the

rural environment and create sustainable production systems. The Agenda 2000 has concrete

proposals for dairy products. However, it is suggested that it is impossible to reconcile a reduction of

EU farm prices to world levels with the need for EU family farms to produce by environmentally

friendly and sustainable systems.

Cocklin & Blunden (1998) look at sustainability, water resources and regulation in New Zealand.

'Sustainable management' has been inscribed in that country's resource management legislation and

given focus to social contests over the meaning and interpretation of sustainability particularly over

the allocation of water to dairy pasture irrigation. Competing interpretations of 'sustainable

management' were at the centre of these contests.

In the EU, where dairy farming is generally intensive, legislation is being used to achieve a reduction

in N losses from intensive dairy farming in nitrate-sensitive areas, through defined maximum rates of

manure application (Ledgard et al. 2000). Progressive reduction in these rates will potentially reduce

stocking rates on intensive EU farms such as in The Netherlands, where taxation of farm N surpluses

is also used as a deterrent.

The original aims of milk quota regulation in the EC were to match supply with demand within the EC

in the short term, to finance existing stocks, maintain milk production in ecologically sensitive and

less competitive regions, and to ensure income and survival of medium-sized and small family farms

(Schneider 1991). The regulation was meant to give the member States autonomy in deciding the

finer details; trade in milk products was to remain free within the EC. In the German Federal Republic

the dried skim milk and ‘butter mountain’ increased initially, reaching a peak in 1986, and decreased

thereafter. Structural changes on farms and land were not halted. About 40% of German farms drew

their main income from milk and so any changes have serious consequences. Direct effects of the

regulation included freeing of labour, increased beef supply onto the market, depressing meat prices,

decline in sales of milk-related concentrates and their price, and reduced need of animal housing.

Since 1945, the structure of farming in the Loch Lomond area of UK has changed (Topp et al. 2000).

Over the period the number of dairy cows has declined while the beef breeding herd and the sheep

flock have increased. The area of cropping has declined significantly. These changes have been

partly in response to Government and European Union policies, and partly a reflection of the change

to more intensive and specialized farm management systems. During this period the vegetation and

bio-diversity has changed, land has been removed from agricultural production and planted with trees

and at the same time there has been a reduction in the heather-dominated areas. Coupled with the

change in agriculture, there has also been a reduction in farmland birds.

9


3. Incentives/protection

O'Connor et al. (1996) comment on nutrient budgets for soil sustainability and future market access.

Sustainable land management was embedded in New Zealand law in the form of the Resource

Management Act, 1991. Nutrient budgets require all inputs and outputs of nutrients from a farm to be

quantified to ensure inputs and outputs are in balance, thus producing a sustainable system. By being

able to calculate nutrient budgets on a national basis, New Zealand will be in a good position to

demonstrate a commitment to nutrient management, thus ensuring continued - and perhaps enhanced -

market access for agricultural products.

Young (1989) outlines the policy barriers to sustainable agriculture in USA. Agriculture has

developed in a mixed environment of private initiative and government support and farmers produce

food and fibre at very low budgetary cost to consumers. However, concern about resource depletion

and agri-chemical pollution has caused critics to question the environmental sustainability of the

system. Low agri-chemical input or sustainable agricultural practices, such as nitrogen-fixing legumes

in rotation with cereals, could reduce environmental damage. The selectivity and structure of

historical farm programs, however, have economically favoured conventional systems. Despite

budget pressures and environmental concerns, termination of farm programs or decoupling them from

production of particular commodities, is unlikely. Fears about aggravating financial stress, reducing

land values, and harming agri-chemical supply businesses in crop-growing regions, will promote

cautious incremental change.

Plantinga (1996) suggest that an effective way of obtaining gains in environmental quality is to reduce

agricultural income support. In an application to Wisconsin (USA), reductions in milk price support

result in shifts of marginal agricultural land to forest, reducing soil erosion and providing off-site

water quality improvements. The environmental benefits are estimated to be at least as large as the

decreased welfare burden on consumers and taxpayers, indicating a central role for environmental

quality considerations in motivating policy reforms and a more efficient means of achieving the

environmental quality goals of land retirement programs. (For this system to work, it would seem that

farmers would have been losing money in farming the ‘marginal’ land – this concept has been

demonstrated in cropping areas of Australia, where yield monitoring devices on harvesters have shown

farmers that cropping certain areas of land in a paddock was not economic).

The Finnish agro-environmental program (AEP) has been set to the regulation of the EU to reduce the

agricultural load on the environment, increase biodiversity, and promote the quality of agricultural

landscape (Pirttijarvi et al. 2002). Joining is voluntary for farmers, but several criteria have to be

fulfilled. These criteria include a farm environmental management plan, base levels of fertilizer

application, inspection of pesticide sprayers, buffer strips, plant cover, and landscape preservation.

AEP is put into effect by two measures: General Agricultural Environmental Protection Scheme

(GAEPS) and Supplementary Protection Scheme (SPS). In the long run, agro-environmental support

measures may reduce both erosion and N and P leakage by 30%-50%. AEP is used to compensate

farmers for reduced incomes and increased costs. It is connected to the agricultural support package to

balance the substantial drop in farm income.

Convery (1988) states that of the Irish Republic's 14 million acres of agricultural land, 12.75 million

are devoted to pasture, hay and silage. Since 1973, the EU, mainly through its price and structural

supports, has had a substantial effect on the incomes achieved by Irish farmers and the level and mix

of outputs produced. Tillage has concentrated in the east, dairy farming increased most rapidly in the

south, and pig and poultry production in the north. There has been a rapid rise in the use of fertilizer

and feed concentrates, and in drainage schemes. Adverse environmental impacts include:

eutrophication of inland lakes as a result of enrichment by pig slurry; loss of wetland and wildlife

habitats from land drainage and field clearance; water pollution as a result of seepage of silage

effluent; fish kills as a consequence of inappropriate pesticide and herbicide treatments. The Irish

Republic is the least forested country in the EU with one million acres of woodland and if the EU

provides 50% of the funding for schemes that encourage conservation-type farming, or forestry, it is

likely that the Irish government will adopt them. At the margin, there will be rapid 'take-up' by Irish

farmers, as their alternatives are now very limited.

10


How will more sustainable, ecologically friendly, dairy production systems be introduced in the EU? –

and has this any bearing on Australia (now or in future)? Fischler (1997) comments on the reform of

EU agricultural policy and that increasing emphasis will be given to the environment and sustainable

production methods as well as to food safety and quality. The GATT agreement, as well as financial

pressures, will result in prices being reduced to nearer world levels; reductions will also be made in

current price supports for cereals, meat and dairy products. Milk quotas will continue to 2006. The

potential effects of price reductions on farm incomes will be offset by increased premiums for “set

aside” (land removed from production) and extensive livestock, as well as by special rural

development measures for mountain and other less favoured rural areas.

Jung (1996) discusses the effect on dairy farmers following changes in the GATT agreement and

reorientation of agricultural policy, and the Swiss government’s decision in 1996 to lower the basic

milk price from 97 to 87 Rp/L. The government agreed to compensate for the FS 300 million loss in

profits by making direct payments that are to be used mainly for ecological contributions and will

therefore benefit farms with integrated production (IP) systems using controlled free-range farming.

Some 40% of farms are not in a position to change to IP and will not benefit. For these, the lower

milk price means a loss of FS 7000-8000/year per 100,000 kg milk produced. Approximately 60,000

farms will receive compensation of FS 1500/year by direct payment, and another FS 12 million

'summer grazing' allowance will be spread among alpine cattle farmers.

Zachariasse (1993) commented that European agriculture is about to enter a completely new

'ecological' era. Agriculture will remain an important economic sector within the EC, and increasingly

an ecological sector, but modern methods and intelligent management will be needed in farms and

agribusiness to remain viable. Ecological considerations will raise costs and protection will be needed

to meet these though at lower levels than at present. Not all farms will survive; the number of dairy

farms in the Netherlands was expected to fall by one third by the year 2000.

On the matter of economics and the actuality of achieving sustainable production, Breitschuh &

Muller (1995) studied the future of dairy farming in the new federal states (of Germany). They

concluded that positive contributions to farm profits can be made under conditions of prices and

subsidies for 1995/96, as soon as annual milk yield exceeds 7,000 kg/cow. Below this threshold,

sustainable farm management is not possible, except as a short-term transitional measure.

4. Innovation

Automatic milking

Development of robotic milking began in mid-1980s, with the first commercial machine installed in

the Netherlands in 1992 (Hogeveen & Meijering 2000). After solving the problem of automatically

attaching the teat cups, automatic milking systems (AMS) have been installed on over 500 farms

world-wide. The whole farming system has to change to accommodate AMS and many technical

difficulties are yet to be resolved, but they may be part of the future dairy industry in Australia.

Bohlsen & Artmann (2002) consider that automatic milking systems (AMS) offer an innovative

approach to improving productivity on dairy farms. AMS can enhance the quality of life of farmers.

It frees the farmer from the fixed daily milking rounds, and can reduce working time. The capital and

operating costs for AMS are greater than those of traditional milking methods, and the reduction in

working hours and rise in milk production are lower than expected, and the system can only be

expected to become competitive under favourable conditions. However, further technical

development and availability of the system on the market will potentially improve the position. AMS

will influence the future growth of farms, the nature of husbandry employed, and the quality of life on

family farms. It is likely that AMS could free up labour for other enterprises, such as farm forestry, or

for establishing biodiversity and/or shelter planting.

Growing algae on ponds

Wilkie & Mulbry (2002) suggest that harnessing solar energy to grow algal biomass on wastewater

nutrients could provide a holistic solution to nutrient management problems on dairy farms. Algae

produced from a portion of manure nutrients could replace high-protein feed supplements that are

often imported onto the farm. Benthic algae growth chambers can be operated in semi-batch mode by

continuously recycling wastewater and adding manure inputs daily. Compared to a conventional

maize/rye rotation, benthic algae production would require 26% of the land area requirements for

11


equivalent N uptake rates and 23% of the land area requirements on a P uptake basis. Combining

conventional cropping systems with an algal treatment system could facilitate more efficient crop

production and farm nutrient management, allowing dairy operations to be environmentally

sustainable on fewer acres.

Vegetative filter strips

Cronk (1996) considers that constructed wetlands are a best-management-practice to treat animal

waste water from dairy and swine operations but they are ineffective without pre-treatment of the

waste water. The feasibility of constructed wetlands varies with waste characteristics and climate.

The cost of wetland construction is low but the site must be maintained in order for the initial

investment to be worthwhile. In addition, several design iterations may be necessary before effective

treatment is obtained.

Tanner et al. (1995) examined the impact of loading rate and planting of a sedge (Schoenoplectus

validus) on treatment of dairy farm wastewaters in constructed wetlands in New Zealand. The planted

wetlands showed significantly improved removal rates for CBOD5 at higher loadings, and 1.3 to 2.6-

fold higher mass removals of total BOD.

Bharati et al. (2002) have shown for a Midwestern USA farm that the average infiltration was five

times greater under multi-species riparian buffers than under the cultivated field and pasture.

Willers et al. (1999) looked at the potential of closed water systems on dairy farms in the Netherlands,

Greece and North America. Drinking water for animals and water for cleaning of milking equipment

are the major water demands on dairy farms and, in some regions. Large volumes are also needed for

irrigation of grassland or manure flushing. Research has shown that treatment of dairy farm

wastewater in constructed wetland systems produces good quality effluents that could be re-used for

irrigation, manure flushing and drinking water for animals.

Organic farming & biodynamics

Hemsted et al. (2000) describes the organic dairy sector in the USA and suggest that the organic sector

has modelled itself on the conventional ‘dairy world’ in that it is represented in every feature of the

dairy supermarket.

Carlson (1991) considers that with the increased pressure from consumers about safety of food and

food products the organic food industry is a boom industry in the 1990s - the organic food movement

is more than a fad, with significant opportunities for those entering the marketplace. It is an

alternative for those who desire products that are residue-free or manufactured using production

methods perceived to be of ecological value.

In terms of ecological sustainability, Oosting et al. (2002a) suggest that emissions of green house

gases and soil acidification potential per litre of milk were 14 and 40% less for organic than for

conventional dairy farming in The Netherlands. Organic dairy farming, however, requires 42% more

land per litre of milk. Farm economic analyses have shown consistently higher family incomes for

organic than for conventional dairy farming in the last 5 years. Organic dairy farming is perceived as

a relatively open and extensive farming system that complements other land use functions. It is

generally perceived as a ‘good’ way of farming with regard to production method and care for

animals, plants and soil, in contrast to the general perception of conventional farming. Organic food is

often seen as more natural and more authentic than conventional food.

The organic dairying movement has had considerable impact in the market place in Europe over the

last 15 years. Vitterso (1997) describes the situation in Norway, concluding that the economics of the

conversion to more ecologically-sound dairying is strongly determined by feed supply and utilization.

There is, however, some uncertainty as to what constitutes a genuine ‘organic farm’. The definition

varies with country. It is possible, for instance, to establish a claim to be ‘organic’ having foregone

application of inorganic fertiliser for an arbitrary period (but having built up the P or N level by

substantial application in earlier years).

Farm sustainability depends largely on economics (Oosting et al. 2002b); global, national and regional

levels of government can put constraints on individual (farm) levels, but they have the duty of

12


securing the economic needs of individual farmers. Organic farming systems incorporate to a large

extent ecological and socio-cultural values, and presently in the Netherlands this is not at the expense

of farm-economic sustainability.

Haas et al. (2001) compared intensive, extensive and organic grassland farming in southern Germany

in their ability to reduce the environmental burden of agriculture. Extensive and organic, compared

with intensive farms, could reduce negative effects in the abiotic impact categories of energy use,

global warming potential (GWP) and ground water mainly by renouncing mineral nitrogen fertilizer.

Acidification of soil was high, but the extensive (119 kg SO 2 ha-1) and the organic farms (107 kg SO 2

ha-1) emit a lower amount compared with the intensive farms (136 kg SO 2 ha-1). Eutrophication

potential was higher for intensive (54.2 kg PO 4 ha-1) compared with extensive (31.2 kg PO 4 ha-1) and

organic farms (13.5 kg PO 4 ha-1). Farm-gate balances for N (80.1, 31.4 and 31.1 kg ha-1) and P (5.3,

4.5 and -2.3 kg ha-1) for intensive, extensive and organic farms, respectively, indicate the different

impacts on ground and surface water quality. Biodiversity, landscape image and animal husbandry

had clear advantages on organic farms, in terms of number of grassland species, grazing cattle, layout

of farmstead and herd management, but these indices showed a wide range and are partly independent

of the farming system.

Lambie (2000) outlines the background to one farmer’s move into organic dairy farming in New

Zealand in the 1980s, when animal health issues were compounded at the time by severe droughts and

very tight financial constraints. Alternative preventive methods of animal health were studied. Slow

release fertilizers, balanced with trace elements; liquid seaweed and fish fertilizer were used to

enhance soil biological activity; a balanced diet was introduced for cows, with energy supplements

used to complement the high-protein grass; trace elements and cider vinegar/garlic drenches were used

with the above program as a means of preventing animal health problems. Full Bio-Gro (New

Zealand Certification) was achieved in 1991 with milk sold to a commercial company for cultured

milk products on the local market. By 1999 the farm was milking 350 cows on 308 ha. It is

concluded that, because of New Zealand's all year clover-dominated pasture system, organic farming

can be achieved in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.

Burgoyne (1992) found that performance of organic milk producers in Quebec compared well in terms

of standardized return to labour, per cow, per hectolitre of milk and per man-work unit, with nonorganic

farms. Returns per ha are in line with the average for the other groups. The high input farms

were not gaining greater returns from their methods, which may be more environmentally damaging

than alternative methods.

Biodynamics also has followers. Buchner (1993) describes a pilot study in Germany where the longterm

aims on the dairy/beef/cropping farm were to promote the natural soil fertility, maintain a wellbalanced

nutrient cycle, eliminate inorganic fertilizers and chemical protection. Fertilizer applications

to crops are green clover and grass manures, rotted manure compost (300 t annually, applied across the

35 ha), and cattle slurry (160 m 3 annually) supplemented by composts of herbs. Despite no mineral

fertilizer inputs over 14 years, the soil nutrient status had changed little. Humus content, soil pH and

the activity of micro-organisms had increased, while P and K contents had slightly decreased. Soil

nitrate contents had also decreased. Overall yield of grain crops are now 30% lower than on

conventional farms. The Boschheide Hof farm successfully combines ecological and economic

interests but biodynamic farming needs significant start-up capital to overcome initial low productivity

and marketing problems due to product quality or acceptability.

Whittemore (1995) reminds us that the agricultural community has made substantial responses to

market demand for productive processes that attend to welfare and ecological concerns, through the

inception of schemes such as Farm Assured Quality Assurance. He considers that this may have a

more sustainable future than the extremes of organic farming and free-range practices. The

redistribution of livestock out of intensive units and into mixed farming systems would also require

substantial restructuring of the industry.

Agroforestry systems

Shepherd et al. (1996) found for East African highlands that moderate P inputs were required to

maintain soil P stocks on tropical subsistence farms practicing agroforestry. N-fixation from the

leguminous trees added N to the system but this was offset by losses in exported dairy products. N

13


leaching from the field was the most significant nutrient loss from the farm system and the capture of

subsoil N by deep-rooted trees in agroforestry systems substantially increased N use efficiency.

Is it possible that the presence of conifers on dairy farms – as in timberbelts of P. radiata – would

perhaps result in “cleaner” milk (as claimed by Vyaizenien et al. 1998)? If so, and in conditions where

there is likely to be a problem, cattle could be given access to the prunings. In terms of nutrition, the

foliage if fed alone would not provide more than a maintenance ration.

Farm forestry is potentially capable of delivering multiple benefits, including benefits of shade,

shelter, biodiversity, salinity and soil acidity control. The place of farm forestry as a complementary

enterprise on dairy farms is discussed in Chapter 6.

14


Sustainable systems – changes to old approaches

What does agricultural sustainability mean? It is a social construct that can be variously interpreted by

different groups in society (Cocklin & Blunden 1998; Scott 2002). Most would like to see that our

managed ecosystems function in such a way that productivity is maintained or enhanced over the long

term without depletion of the natural resource. To some farmers in the developed world it may be

seen as simply ensuring that what we do now can continue for as long as we want to farm the area. To

farmers of third-world countries the relevance is in food security, reduction of poverty, and

environmental enhancement.

In the case of production systems that are not intensive, sustainability is a challenge because product

removal over the long term may exceed the capacity to replace essential nutrients – particularly when

commodity prices are low. Farmers need to be viable in order to run a sustainable enterprise. All

‘layers’ (soil, pastures, animals, crops, $) in the farming system need to be functional in the long term

in order to deliver sound farm performance and adoption of sustainable farming practices (Scott 2002).

With regard to intensive systems of production, where the nutrient inputs to the system may exceed

the outputs in saleable products and there is leakage of the excess nutrients into air, groundwater and

streams, farmers are affected by the economics of reduced intensity of production required to achieve

sustainability. Thus, Ernst (1988) describes results of trials on reducing amounts of N applied to

pastures in the Rheinland. Herbage DM yields with no applied N were 4.12 t/ha lower than with 400

kg N/ha at one site and 5.4 and 3.2 t/ha lower than with 300 kg N/ha at two other sites. Cattle grazed

on land receiving only 27-31 kg N/ha as slurry needed about twice the area to achieve the same daily

liveweight gains as did those on pastures given N and slurry at conventional rates. Somewhat similar

results were obtained for milk yield, but differences both in liveweight gain and milk yield were small

when pastures contained a high proportion of Trifolium repens.

In Australia, white clover is a common component of pastures, supplying N, but inorganic N is also

applied on many dairy farms at specific times. When/if N-budgeting becomes necessary, in order to

reduce off-site impacts, more attention will be needed to pasture management, rather than relying on

fertiliser N to stimulate grass production. Holmes (1987) summarises milk production from grassland

in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the Irish Republic. The production of milk from grassland

dairy farms depends on the growth, consumption and conversion into milk of pasture herbage.

Improvements in any of these 3 components can lead to increased milk production, but further

increases in production from the most efficient dairy farms probably depend mainly on increases in

herbage production. Intensively managed spring-calving dairy herds in the Irish Republic and New

Zealand produce annually 500 to 600 kg milk fat/ha from pastures that produce 12 to 13 t DM/ha.

Supplementary feeds given to grazing cows usually has little effect on milk production, except when

pasture herbage is in short supply (as it usually is in winter) or is senescent.

Phillips (2002) contends that recent research has shown that the production of high quality traditional

dairy products will provide an income for more people than intensive dairy production, thus helping to

serve as a functional basis for rural land use. Modern organic dairy systems, for example, should

produce at least two-thirds of that of intensive systems and should therefore be able to provide for the

majority of consumers in the UK. However, it is anticipated that increased global trade in livestock

products will further threaten the livelihood of UK producers. Their options are to reduce input costs

and develop specialized markets for high quality products ahead of their competitors. For example,

the increased potential lifespan of the human population will encourage people to consume products

that promote longevity, such as those with minimal contamination by pollutants. In many parts of the

world, but particularly in the central continental land masses, global warming will challenge livestock

production. Phillips (2002) contends that traditional production systems are likely to survive better, as

they are buffered against variations in weather. It is concluded that livestock production systems have

the potential to provide high quality food and employment, especially in marginal areas, and to

preserve the land for the benefit of future generations. However, if badly managed, intensive systems

may lead to major adverse effects on the environment, damage to human health and a reduction in

food supply for those in developing countries.

van Horn et al. (1996) consider the matter of environmental objectives in relation to factors affecting

whole-farm nutrient balance. What is required is knowledge of nutrients excreted, potential nutrient

removal by plants, acceptable losses of nutrients within the manure management and crop production

15


systems, and alternatives that permit export of nutrients off-farm. Nutrient excretions can be predicted

by subtracting predicted nutrients in food animal products exported from the farm from total nutrients

consumed. Double or triple-cropping may be necessary where high-density animal production units

produce great amounts of manure, unless manure or manure products are to be exported to other

farms. Most manures are P-rich relative to N and most soils bind P effectively, so P usually is

permitted to accumulate, allowing for budgets to be based on N. However, P budgeting may be

required in regions where surface runoff of P contributes to algae growth and eutrophication of surface

waters.

Thomet & Koller (1996) compared N inputs and N balances for intensively managed dairy farms in

the Luzerne region, Switzerland, with published results from the Netherlands. Milk yield/ha was

higher in the Netherlands than in Switzerland but use of concentrates and mineral N fertilizer was also

much higher. The average annual N surplus was 109 kg/ha in Switzerland and 486 kg in the

Netherlands, the difference being due largely to recommended levels of fertilizer application in the

two countries and the greater use of legumes in Switzerland. It is concluded that the Swiss dairy

farming system is more sustainable and causes less pressure on the environment.

Paul & Beauchamp (1995) concluded that the highest priority for improving farm N utilization and

decreasing the risk of environmental pollution on livestock farms is by improving N utilization by

animals through improved feeding strategies. They used a simple model to measure the change in

farm N utilization following improvements in diet, increased N retention during manure collection and

storage, and increased manure N utilization by crops following field application. Improving N

utilization by dairy cattle from 16% to 25% through changes in animal diet increased the whole-farm

N utilization from 18.8% to 28.5%, whereas increasing manure N utilization by the crop from 27% to

50% increased the whole-farm N utilization from 19.8% to 22.1%. Satter (2001) also claims that if

dairy producers reduced dietary P levels to meet the cow's needs, including a safety margin, manure P

content could be decreased by 25 to 30%, thus reducing the potential for P runoff from fields that have

been over-fertilised with P over time. However, Hutson et al. (1998) looked at various scenarios for

increased use of farm-produced forages, reduction in fertilizers, and increased feed conversion to milk

and concluded that these resulted in only minor improvements in the nutrient imbalance on a New

York State farm.

t’Mannetje & Frame (1994) suggest new methods of reducing N fertilizer rates for grazing and

increasing the role of Trifolium repens in grasslands. Weissbach et al. (1994) looked at two systems in

which output/animal is maintained or increased. The high intensity approach allowed for very high

milk production/ha. The low intensity approach was based on less intensive land exploitation and on

using permanent grassland with grass-Trifolium repens swards. It was suggested that the reintegration

of arable cropping and animal production within the same farm, preferably using permanent grasslands

with a range of exploitation intensities, offered the best perspective for ecologically sustainable

farming.

Kuipers et al. (1999) outlined the European Union’s nutrient management goals. The goal for N is

that groundwater should contain less than 50 mg nitrate/L. This general approach might result in a

maximum amount of N or in a maximum number of cattle allowed per ha. However, individual

countries develop alternative routes and take additional measures to deal with nutrient losses. In The

Netherlands, ammonia volatilization should be reduced by 50-70% in the year 2000 compared with

1980, in addition to the European guideline for nitrate. Regulations limit the amount of manure

(expressed in P) applied per ha, with a manure (P) quota allocated to each farm. A more balanced P

supply to the land has been achieved by transport of manure from surplus to deficit areas. A dairy

farm simulation model indicated that a combination of more efficient use of fertilizer N and restricted

grazing with a more balanced ration, resulted in considerable reductions in nitrate leaching.

Application of slurry by injection techniques diminishes the ammonia volatilization at farm level by

almost 50%; slurry application by injection and covering of slurry stores has become obligatory.

Application of manure to the land is only allowed in the growing season. From 1998, dairy farmers

have to keep records of the nutrients on a nutrient balance sheet. A tax will be imposed on surpluses

of N and P, on the basis of the nutrient balance.

Thomet et al. (1997) suggest that, for comparable milk yields per cow, 4-6 times less concentrate feed

was used and 7-9 times less artificial N was applied per ha of forage land in Switzerland than in the

16


main milk producing regions of Western Europe. Grassland fertilization was based primarily on farmproduced

slurry, which was carefully stored and spread on grassland. Consequently, the average N

balance surplus on intensive Swiss dairy farms was 109 kg N/ha per year compared to >400 kg in high

input areas of Europe. In addition to the slurry N, only 25-50 kg artificial N/ha per year can be applied

to grassland but Swiss farmers receive high direct payments ($NZ 1000/ha) from the state for applying

a strictly environmentally-friendly farming system.

Daccord (2001) believes that we need to change the basis of our dairy cattle breeding strategy if we

are to comply with targets for environmental sustainability. The focus on milk production has

required a higher proportion of concentrates in the ration, a trend that leads to intensive production

systems with high needs for energy and nitrogen - something that is not in line with an objective of

sustainable development. High-producing dairy cows are well able to adapt to sustainable systems

that are based on a substantial utilisation of forage - and they have a marked ability to mobilize body

reserves at the onset of lactation to enable them to cover the part of their requirements not met by the

ration. The limits to this capacity to mobilize reserves built up in the season of plenty defines the

cow's potential of milk production. In Switzerland, this potential for multiparous cows lies between

8,000 and 10,000 kg of milk per lactation, with peak daily production between 40 and 50 kg. Dacord

(2001) believes that high-producing dairy cows have reached their potential for milk production,

therefore genetic selection should now focus on their capability to efficiently transform forage into

milk.

With respect to dairy cattle breeding, Holmes (2001) reviews the importance of fertility in seasonal

calving systems in New Zealand and notes that the combination of good genetic merit for fertility plus

good herd management will achieve good herd fertility, a pathway more appropriate for the

sustainable production of high quality, clean, green dairy products from cows that are managed to

satisfy all their welfare requirements.

Oenema et al. (2001) indicate that the process of adoption of measures to increase environmental

sustainability can be painfully slow, although it is possible to meet the N and P surplus targets by

taking simple measures. Despite 15 years of policies and measures to decrease nutrient losses in The

Netherlands, experimental dairy farms like 'De Marke' that have programs based on careful nutrient

management realize much higher resource use efficiencies and much lower nutrient surpluses than the

average commercial dairy farm. In the original situation, the MINAS nitrogen surplus on 17 farms

ranged from 47 to 349 kg ha-1, with an average of 207 kg. The modelling results indicated an average

N surplus of 131 kg ha-1 could be achieved after implementation of the farm development plans, i.e.

19 kg ha-1 less than the target surplus.

Jongebreur et al. (2001) discuss the prevention and control of losses of gaseous nitrogen compounds in

livestock operations. Volatilization of ammonia is the major process responsible for the loss of N in

husbandry systems with slurry (where average dry matter content varies between 3 and 13%). Manure

spreading is also a major source of NH 3 emission and is dependent on slurry composition,

environmental conditions, and farm management. Losses via NO, N 2 O, and N 2 are important in

husbandry systems with solid manure and straw. In the near future the emission of these greenhouse

gases may get the same attention from policy makers as NH 3 . Sustainable livestock production has to

combine low emissions of gaseous N compounds with acceptable odour emissions, low emissions of

greenhouse gases, and acceptable standards of animal welfare.

Ryhanen et al. (2002) remind us that changes, such as in the Finnish dairy and beef farming that arise

from EU membership, have consequences that can off-set ecological considerations. The fall in

product prices and an increase in direct support have made the economic result of production and

farmers' decisions highly dependent on the latter. Changes will lead to more extensive farming and

perhaps even to apparent farming i.e. to minimizing cost in order to receive subsidies. The support

policy also favours use of feed grain instead of grassland farming. In addition, feed based on

purchased cereals has become relatively cheaper, which pushes livestock production in an undesirable

direction, both from the ecological and ethical points of view.

Drewry & Paton (2000) comment on the effects of cattle treading and natural amelioration on soil

physical properties and pasture under dairy farming in Southland, New Zealand. Current grazing

practice involves rotational grazing with dairy cows from September to May each year, with no

17


grazing during winter. Macroporosity, air permeability, and hydraulic conductivity were all increased

substantially in three silt loams where cattle were excluded. Drewry et al. (2000) found soils on dairy

farms poorer in these attributes than soils on sheep farms, with treading damage on some soils likely to

limit plant growth.

Barkle et al. (2000) consider the effects of regular irrigation with dairy farm effluent on soil organic

matter and soil microbial biomass on New Zealand dairy pastures. Over recent years regulatory

authorities in New Zealand have promoted irrigation of dairy farm effluent (DFE) onto the land, to

protect surface water quality. The rate at which the resistant organic matter from DFE accumulates in

the soil and the effect of any accumulation on other soil organic matter-related pools, such as

microbial biomass, are unknown. What is the long-term impact and sustainability of land-applied

DFE? The regular irrigation over 4 years with DFE at the high rates used in this study increased the

soil microbial biomass, pH, organic C, and total N of the soil receiving the effluent. The sustainability

of DFE application onto land in terms of N leaching can be maintained only when the supply of

inorganic N is continually matched by the demand of the pasture. This means that inorganic N

fertilization has to be reduced concurrently with the gradually increasing N mineralization from the

accumulating organic matter.

Armstrong et al. (2000) examined water-use efficiency on irrigated dairy farms in northern Victoria

and southern New South Wales. Their survey provides information on water-use, milk production,

supplementary feeding, farm size and type, pasture management, and irrigation layout and

management. The farms with high water-use efficiency, when compared with the low group: (i)

produced a similar amount of milk from less water (387 v. 572 ML), used less land (48 v. 83 ha) and

had a similar number of cows (152 v. 143 cows); (ii) had higher estimated pasture consumption per

hectare (11.5 v. 5.5 t DM/ha) and per megalitre (1.0 v. 0.5 t DM/ML); (iii) had higher stocking rates

(3.2 v. 1.8 cows/ha); (iv) used higher rates of nitrogen fertiliser (59 v. 18 kg N/ha.year) and tended to

use more phosphorus fertiliser (64 v. 34 kg P/ha.year); (v) used similar levels of supplementary feed

(872 v. 729 kg concentrates/cow); (vi) had higher milk production per cow (396 v. 277 kg fat plus

protein); and (vii) directed a higher proportion of the estimated energy consumed by cows into milk

production (53 v. 46%). It might be interesting to discover what the leakage of nutrients was on the

more efficient farms – those that used higher inputs of fertilisers.

18


Selected sustainable systems abstracts from literature 1972-2002

[AIC (1997) A full repairing lease: inquiry into ecologically sustainable land management: a draft

report. Australian Industry Commission, Melbourne. 333 pp.] – Contents include: Agricultural

landuse. Biodiversity, ESD, intergenerational equity, salinity, soil acidification, soil structure decline,

weeds, pests, surface water, groundwater, impacts of irrigation, urban expansion. Also discussed are

policy, externalities, regulation, standards, scope for reform, trade issues, taxation on forestry profits,

tenure for land and trees, export controls, harvesting rights for trees, carbon sequestration, tradeable

permits, diversification, flora and fauna, conservation on private land, education and training,

extension.

[Amon B; Amon T, Boxberger J, Alt C, Freibauer A (ed.), Mosier A (ed.), Clemens J (ed.), Dammgen

U (ed.), Esala M (ed.), Hartung E (ed.), Hensen A (ed.), Kaltschmitt M (ed.), Kroeze C (ed.), Petersen

S (ed.), Phillips R (ed.), Valli L (ed.), Vandre R (ed.), Worgetter M (2001) Emissions of NH3, N2O

and CH4 from dairy cows housed in a farmyard manure tying stall (housing, manure storage, manure

spreading). Biogenic emissions of greenhouse gases caused by arable and animal agriculture -

processes, inventories, mitigation. International conference held in Stuttgart, Germany, 13-15 October

1999. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 60: 1-3, 103-113] - Emission measurements from dairy

cows housed in a tying stall were carried out with the aim of finding factors that influence the amount

of emissions and means to reduce emissions. All sectors of animal husbandry were investigated. This

enabled calculations of emissions for the whole management system including housing, storage and

spreading of manure. Emissions during aerobic composting and anaerobic stacking of farmyard

manure were compared. NH3 and N2O emissions from tying stalls for dairy cows are low (5.8 g NH3

LU-1 day-1, 619.2 mg N2O LU-1 day-1). Methane emissions from the animal housing are mainly

caused by enteric fermentation. During storage and after spreading of farmyard manure substantial

differences concerning NH3, N2O and CH4 emissions were observed with composted and

anaerobically stacked farmyard manure. The compost emitted more NH3 than the anaerobically

stacked farmyard manure. Approximately one third of the NH3 emissions from the anaerobically

stacked farmyard manure occurred after spreading. Total N losses were at a low level with both

storage systems. Greenhouse gas emissions (N2O and CH4) were much higher from the anaerobically

stacked farmyard manure than from the composted one. As these are ecologically harmful gases, they

have to be considered when judging the form of manure treatment.

[Armstrong DP, Knee JE, Doyle PT, Pritchard KE, Gyles OA (2000) Water-use efficiency on irrigated

dairy farms in northern Victoria and southern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Experimental

Agriculture 40: 5, 643-653] - A survey of 170 randomly selected, irrigated, dairy farms in northern

Victoria and 9 in southern New South Wales was conducted to examine and benchmark the key

factors influencing water-use efficiency. Water-use efficiency was defined as the amount of milk (kg

milk fat plus protein) produced from pasture per megalitre of water (irrigation plus effective rainfall).

Information on water-use, milk production, supplementary feeding, farm size and type, pasture

management, and irrigation layout and management was collected for each farm by personal interview

for the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. The farms were ranked in the order of water-use efficiency with

the average farm compared with the highest and lowest 10% of farms. The range in water-use

efficiency was 25-115 kg milk fat plus protein/ML, with the highest 10% averaging 94 kg/ML and the

lowest 10% averaging 35 kg/ML. The large range in water-use efficiency indicated potential for

substantial improvement on many farms. The high water-use efficiency farms, when compared with

the low group: (i) produced a similar amount of milk from less water (387 v. 572 ML) (P


the efficiency of water-use on irrigated dairy farms, than the type of system. The data from the survey

provide information for individual farms, a measure of the water-use efficiency of the industry, and an

indication of the quality of regional land and water resources.

[Atkinson D, Watson CA (1996) The environmental impact of intensive systems of animal production

in the lowlands. Animal Science 63: 3, 353-361] - The principle livestock production factors

influencing environmental impact are the potential for the recycling of wastes, the modification of

inputs to systems, the extent to which animal production can be integrated into more holistic farming

systems, and the impact of livestock on wildlife (plant and animal) biodiversity. The production of

large quantities of nitrogenous waste, resulting from the importation of large quantities of nitrogen

into intensive animal production units, is identified as the major environmental problem for lowland

animal production. The development of systems which allow these waste products to be re-used at

sites of primary crop production is seen as a sustainable solution to this problem.

[Barkle GF, Stenger R, Singleton PL, Painter DJ (2000) Effect of regular irrigation with dairy farm

effluent on soil organic matter and soil microbial biomass. Australian Journal of Soil Research 38: 6,

1087-1097] - Over recent years regulatory authorities in New Zealand have promoted irrigation of

dairy farm effluent (DFE) onto the land, to protect surface water quality. The rate at which the

resistant organic matter from DFE accumulates in the soil and the effect of any accumulation on other

soil organic matter (SOM) related pools, such as microbial biomass, are, however, unknown. This

information is necessary to determine the long-term impact and sustainability of land-applied DFE. In

this paper, changes are reported over 4 years in organic carbon (Corg) and total nitrogen (Nt) from a

soil receiving a high application rate of DFE. Soil microbial biomass (Cmic) measurements were

included to test the hypothesis that Cmic or the Cmic:Corg ratio can be used as an early indicator of

changes in SOM. The regular irrigation with DFE at the high rates used in this study increased the

Cmic, pH, Corg, and Nt of the soil receiving the effluent. The time series of Cmic showed that this

measurement is suitable as an early indicator of changes in Corg and Nt, whereas a single

determination of the Cmic:Corg ratio was not. The sustainability of DFE application onto land in

terms of N leaching can be maintained only when the supply of inorganic N is continually matched by

the demand of the pasture. This means that inorganic N fertilization has to be reduced concurrently

with the gradually increasing N mineralization from the accumulating organic matter.

[Bharati L, Lee KH, Isenhart TM, Schultz RC (2002) Soil-water infiltration under crops, pasture, and

established riparian buffer in Midwestern USA. Agroforestry Systems 56(3): 249-257] - The

production-oriented agricultural system of Midwestern United States has caused environmental

problems such as soil degradation and non-point source (NPS) pollution of water. Riparian buffers

have been shown to reduce the impacts of NPS pollutants on stream water quality through the

enhancement of riparian zone soil quality. The objective of this study was to compare soil-water

infiltration in a Coland soil under multi-species riparian buffer vegetation with that of cultivated fields

and a grazed pasture. The average infiltration was five times greater under the buffers than under the

cultivated field and pasture. Cumulative infiltration in the multi-species riparian buffer was in the

order of silver maple > grass filter > switchgrass. Infiltration did not differ among corn and soybean

crop fields and the pasture. Soil bulk densities under the multi-species buffer vegetation were

significantly (P < 0.05) smaller than in the crop fields and the pasture. When using infiltration as an

index, the established multi-species buffer vegetation seemed to improve soil quality after six years.

[Blazquez MS, Garcia-Adamez MMA, Flamant JC (ed.), Portugal AV (ed.), Costa JP (ed.), Nunes AF

(ed.), Boyazoglu J (1995) Rural tourism in less favoured areas: a global approach implicating animals

as an alternative for development. Animal production and rural tourism in Mediterranean regions.

Proc. International Symposium on Animal Production and Rural Tourism in Mediterranean Regions

organized by EAAP, FAO, CIHEAM and SNFEZ of Portugal, Evora, Portugal, 10-13 October 1993.

271-274; EAAP Publication No. 74 (Wageningen Press, Netherlands)] - A case study is made of

agriculture, tourism and the role of animals in Extremadura, Spain. In this region modernized intensive

agriculture has not been economically successful, and the main agricultural activity is extensive

farming of beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep and goats. As a consequence the rural environment has been

well conserved, and the region is now considered to be one of the best nature reserves in Europe. This

has attracted ecological tourism, as well as tourists wishing to fish and shoot (strictly controlled),

which has assisted the region economically. The important role which animals play in tourism is

highlighted: (1) livestock production as an economic activity which fulfils the tourist demand for

20


meat, artisan cheese, leather and textiles; (2) animals which can be seen in their natural environment in

the reserve, or which can be hunted as small game; and (3) animals as part of local culture, such as

bullfighting, equestrian displays, and local festivals involving animals.

[Bohlsen E, Artmann R (2002) Testing of automatic milking systems (AMS) for their business,

hygienic and ecological characteristics, animal protection and structural impact on cattle farming. Part

I: Technology, animal behaviour and business aspects. Berichte uber Landwirtschaft 80: 2, 262-280] -

Automatic milking systems offer an innovative approach to improving productivity on dairy farms.

AMS can enhance the quality of life of farmers. It frees him from the fixed daily milking rounds, and

can reduce working time. Under AMS, observation of the animals and monitoring of the system

become extremely vital; system monitoring must never be neglected. Considering that the capital and

operating costs for AMS are greater than those of traditional milking methods, and the reduction in

working hours and rise in milk production are lower than expected, the system can only be expected to

become competitive under favourable conditions. However, further technical development and

availability of the system on the market will potentially increase competition. AMS will influence the

future growth of farms, the nature of husbandry employed, and the quality of life on family farms. For

farms using hired labour and located near industrial centres, AMS may contribute to the reduction of

wage costs.

[Bos JFFP, van de Ven GWJ (1999) Mixing specialized farming systems in Flevoland (The

Netherlands): agronomic, environmental and socio-economic effects. Netherlands Journal of

Agricultural Science 47: 3-4, 185-200] - Mixed farming systems have potential agronomic,

environmental and socio-economic advantages over specialized farming systems. This paper attempts

to quantify these advantages for the Dutch province Flevoland. A mixed farming system at regional

level is characterized by intensive cooperation between two or more specialized farms, each producing

crop or animal products. To test the hypothesis that such a mixed farming system might improve

sustainability of agriculture in Flevoland, nutrient balances, labour requirements and labour income

were quantified for a specialized arable farm, a specialized dairy farm and both combined into a mixed

farming system, exchanging land, labour and machinery. In the mixed farming system, labour income

per ha was 25% higher. Seventy percent of this increase could be explained through higher yields per

ha of the profitable crops ware potato (Solanum tuberosum) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris). The

remaining 30% resulted from lower costs, mainly through a better utilization of available labour.

Differences between the combined nutrient balance of both specialized farms and that of the mixed

farming system were small. Indications of reduced biocide use in the mixed farming system could not

be found. It was concluded that in a mixed farming system, it is possible to realize a higher income

without increasing environmental pollution. Key factor is the ratio between animal and arable

production, determining the extent to which crop rotations can be widened and the relative amounts of

slurry that can be applied to grassland.

[Breitschuh G, Muller J (1995) Business management situation and future of dairy farming in the new

federal states (of Germany). KTBL Arbeitspapier No. 226, 7-18] - Guidelines for efficient and

environment-conscious production of agricultural products are calculated based on the most effective

production methods, with particular reference to the situation in the former East Germany. Normative

utilization of fixed assets, and responsible management of soil, capital and labour are assumed. When

general management costs are included, these guidelines for yield and expenditure are suitable for

evaluating the economy of actual farm situations, for identifying weak spots and for forecasting the

consequences of any planned changes in production processes. Such comparisons should be made

without and with inclusion of governmental subsidies in order to demonstrate their influence on

economic results. It is shown that for dairy farming, positive contributions to farm profits can be

made under conditions of prices and subsidies for 1995/96, as soon as annual milk yield exceeds 7000

kg/cow. Below this threshold, sustainable farm management is not possible, except as a short-term

transitional measure

[Buchner W (1993) The biodynamic pilot farm Boschheide Hof. Der Bio Leitbetrieb Boschheide Hof.

DLG Mitteilungen Agrar Inform. 108: 5, 30-33] - A livestock farm at Boschheide Hof in the Lower

Rhine region of Germany, was converted to a biodynamic farm. The long-term aims were to promote

the natural soil fertility, maintain a well-balanced nutrient circulation, restrict fertilizer inputs to FYM,

and grow crops without any chemical crop protection measures. At present, 80% of the total land (35

ha) is cultivated with a rotation of cereals (winter wheat, dinkel [Triticum spelta] and winter rye) >

21


potatoes > field vegetables > fodder crops (maize, clover [Trifolium]/grass mixtures, oats, beans and

peas). The remaining area is partly grazed by dairy cattle and steers (0.9 livestock units/ha), and partly

cut for hay or silage. In the farm surroundings, 1400 shrubs and trees were planted to improve the

microclimate and promote wildlife. Fertilizer applications to crops are based on combinations of

incorporated green manures (clover and grass), rotted manure compost (300 t annually, applied across

the 35 ha), and cattle slurry (160 m3 annually). The slurry is supplemented by composts of horn meal,

Achillea millefolium, chamomile, Taraxacum officinale and Valeriana. Despite no mineral fertilizer

inputs over the past 14 years, the soil nutrient status has changed little. Humus content, soil pH and

the activity of microorganisms have increased, while P and K contents have slightly decreased. Soil

nitrate contents have also decreased, associated with a well-timed soil cultivation and careful

integration of legumes in the crop rotation. Averaged over 5 years (1988-92), nitrate leaching

occurred at 24, 39, 12, 16, 10 and 10 kg NO 3 -N/ha after fodder beet, potatoes, winter wheat, dinkel,

winter rye plus catch crop, and clover/grass mixtures after winter rye, resp. Compared with

conventional farming systems, yield losses of 50% for winter wheat were recorded shortly after the

conversion of Boschheide Hof. However, the current grain yields are about 30% lower than those of

conventionally grown crops. The 1990 wheat crop, which was given 18 m3 cattle slurry/ha twice

produced 5.56 t grain/ha and showed an average protein content of 11%. Due to Septoria occurrence

and poorer control of other fungal diseases, biodynamically-grown wheat tends not to meet the quality

standard for bread making. Differences in potato yield between conventionally and biodynamically

grown crops were particularly large in 1981, 1984 and 1985, but have been consistently small since

1986, with tuber yields in 1990 of about 37 and 38 t/ha for potatoes from the Boschheide Farm and a

conventional farm, respectively. It is concluded that Boschheide Hof successfully combines

ecological and economic interests. However, biodynamic farming needs significant start-up capital to

overcome initial productivity and marketing problems.

[Burgoyne D (1992) Comparative profitability of organic milk production in Quebec. Agriculture

Montreal 48: 5, 3-10] - After defining such terms as ecological agriculture and low- input agriculture,

this paper attempts to determine whether there are differences in profit levels between five systems of

milk production, including organic production and high and low input production, in Quebec, Canada.

Twelve groups of producers were distinguished (each with approximately 50 members) on the basis of

indicators such as yield per cow, cows per pasture ha and variable costs per ha. Data for these groups

were then compared with figures for a group of organic farmers. The comparison shows excellent

results for the organic group in terms of standardized return to labour, per cow, per hectolitre of milk

and per man-work unit. Returns per ha are in line with the average for the other groups. It is

concluded that high input farms are not gaining greater returns from their methods, which may be

more environmentally damaging than alternative methods. Environmental costs remain to be

evaluated.

[Byers RA, Barker GM, Davidson RL, Hoebeke ER, Sanderson MA (2000) Great Lakes Entomologist

33: 2, 81-105] - Carabidae (ground beetles) and Staphylinidae (rove beetles) are indicators of habitat

disturbances, such as drainage of wetlands, or grassland for grazing animals, and their monitoring

could provide one measure of ecosystem sustainability if intensive grazing management systems

expand or intensify in the future.

[Carlson CN (1991) Organic farming products - the dairy industry's role. Proc. of the XXIII

International Dairy Congress, Montreal, October 8-12, 1990, Vol. 2. pp. 1017-1020 (Brussels,

Belgium; International Dairy Federation)] - With the increased pressure from consumers about safety

of food and food products the organic food industry is a boom industry in the 1990s. The dairy

industry world-wide can benefit from these opportunities. This review covers the most used definition

of organic agriculture and suggests that the organic food movement is more than a fad, with significant

opportunities for those entering the marketplace. It addresses a key issue for the dairy industry, that

organic milk products may present to consumers the image that non-organic products are not safe or

healthy. It is an alternative for those who desire products that are residue-free or manufactured using

production methods of ecological value. The article concentrates on the situation in the USA.

[Christesen L, Greenfield P (ed.), Ward S (2002) Dairy farming and river condition: investigating the

sustainable use of water resources in an agricultural area. Selected Proceedings of 4th International

River Symposium, Brisbane, Australia, 29-31 August 2001. Water Science and Technology 45: 11,

21-28] - This paper explores some factors that may contribute to the sustainable use of water on

22


irrigated dairy farms in Victoria, Australia. The paper begins with a discussion of the principles of

sustainable water use as they would apply to dairy farms in the Gippsland region of Victoria. A series

of indicators are used to link aspects of sustainable water use at a regional scale, and the observable

trends are discussed. Of particular interest is the way that local river systems contribute to the dairy

industry in this region and the aspects of dairying and other significant regional factors that may be

impacting on the sustainability of river systems in this area. The indicators are structured and

analysed using the Pressure-State-Response (PSR) framework developed by the OECD, most

commonly used in State of the Environment reporting. The trends are discussed in terms of the

implications that current patterns of water use may have for possible shifts towards more sustainable

water use on individual dairy farms in Gippsland.

[Cocklin C, Blunden G (1998) Sustainability, water resources and regulation. Geoforum 29: 1, 51-68]

- Regulatory analysis and regulation theory are suggested as providing appropriate foundations for the

analysis of the sustainability problem. The authors provide an interrogation, founded in the literature

on 'real' regulation, of a judicial decision concerning the allocation of water resources to farm

irrigation in Northland, Aoteroa/New Zealand. The fact that 'sustainable management' has been

inscribed in that country's resource management legislation has given focus to social contests over the

meaning and interpretation of sustainability. The authors outline the legislative framework and

provide a description of the contests over the allocation of water to dairy pasture irrigation.

Competing interpretations of 'sustainable management' were at the centre of these contests. An

attempt is then made to characterize this 'regulatory space'. In the discussion an emphasis is placed on

the social construction of sustainability and the legitimation of competing interpretations through the

courts and other fora. Reference is made to the geography of regulation, noting that regulatory

processes and their outcomes are defined spatially. Lefebvre's concept of representational space and

the Lefebvrian and Foucaultian notion of sites of resistance help in the interrogation of competing

perspectives on sustainability.

[Convery FJ (1988) Farming, forestry and environment in Ireland; trends and prospects. Ecos UK., 9:

2, 18-21] - Of the Irish Republic's 14 million acres of agricultural land, 12.75 million are devoted to

pasture, hay and silage. Since 1973, the EC, mainly through its price and structural supports, has had

a substantial effect on the incomes achieved by Irish farmers and the level and mix of outputs

produced. There has been very little change in the natural trend in land use but regional shifts in land

use are striking. Tillage has concentrated in the East, dairy farming increased most rapidly in the

South, and pig and poultry production in the North. There has been a rapid rise in fertilizer and

concentrate feed use, and in drainage schemes. Adverse environmental impacts include:

eutrophication of inland lakes as a result of enrichment by pig slurry; loss of wetland and wildlife

habitats as a result of land drainage and field clearance; water pollution as a result of seepage of silage

effluent; fish kills as a consequence of inappropriate pesticide and herbicide treatments. The Irish

Republic is the least forested country in the EC with one million acres of woodland. If the EC

provides 50% funding for reasonably generous schemes that encourage conservation-type farming, or

forestry, it is likely that the Irish government will adopt them. At the margin, there will be rapid 'takeup'

by Irish farmers, as their alternatives are now very limited.

[Daccord R (2001) Are increasing nutritional requirements of dairy cows consistent with

sustainability? Agrarforschung 8: 10, 413-418] - Until now, the milk yield of dairy cows has steadily

been increasing. Consequently, their nutritional requirements are also increasing. This requires a

higher proportion of concentrates in their ration. It is a trend which leads to intensive production

systems with high needs for energy and nitrogen. This may not be brought in line with an objective of

sustainable development. Although most often bred in intensive systems high producing dairy cows

are well able to adapt to sustainable systems which are based on a substantial utilisation of forage.

Because of their large rumen, dairy cows have a high intake capacity for forage. A marked ability to

mobilize body reserves at the onset of lactation enables them to cover the part of their requirements

not met by the ration. There are limits to this capacity to mobilize reserves which define the cow's

potential of milk production. Under best conditions in Switzerland, this potential for multiparous

cows lies between 8'000 and 10'000 kg per lactation, with peak daily production between 40 and 50

kg. As high producing dairy cows have already reached this potential, genetic selection should not

focus on milk production any more, but rather on the capability to transform forage into milk

efficiently.

23


[Dalgaard T, Heidmann T, Mogensen L (2002) Potential N-losses in three scenarios for conversion to

organic farming in a local area of Denmark. European Journal of Agronomy 16: 3, 207-217] - Three

scenarios, where 25% of the local area was converted to organic farming, were compared to the

present situation with conventional farming. The first two scenarios were conversion to organic dairy

and pig production, respectively. The third scenario was conversion of the whole area with special

interests in clean groundwater to organic farming, self-sufficient in fodder and fertiliser. Scenario 1

resulted in a lower N-surplus on the dairy farms, but the reduction was too small to significantly

reduce the N-surplus in either the whole local area or within the area with special interests in clean

groundwater. organic farming can help to reduce potential N-losses in environmentally sensitive areas,

but only if the conversion is designed with respect to that aim and takes account of the spatial

distribution of farm types present.

[Daccord R (2002) Revue Suisse d'Agriculture 33: 5, 197-201] - Until now, the milk yield of dairy

cows has been steadily increasing. Consequently, their nutritional requirements are also increasing.

This requires a higher proportion of concentrates in their ration. It is a trend which leads to intensive

production systems with high needs for energy and nitrogen. This may not be in line with sustainable

development. Although most often bred in intensive systems, high producing dairy cows also fit well

into sustainable systems based on substantial forage utilization. Because of their large rumen, dairy

cows have a high forage intake capacity. A marked ability to mobilize body reserves at the onset of

lactation enables them to cover the part of their requirements not fulfilled by the ration. The limits of

this capacity to mobilize body reserves defines the cow's potential for milk production. Under the best

conditions in Switzerland, this potential for multiparous cows lies between 8000 and 10000 kg per

lactation, with peak daily milkproduction between 40 and 50 kg. As high producing dairy cows have

already reached this potential, genetic selection should now focus on the efficient conversion of forage

into milk.

[Darwin R, Lewandrowski J, McDonald B, Tsigas M, Sullivan J, Sullivan J (1994) Global climate

change: analyzing environmental issues and agricultural trade within a global context. Environmental

policies: implications for agricultural trade. Foreign Agricultural Economic Report No. 252, 122-131]

- In many areas, relatively small changes in climate could dramatically alter the mix of crops and

livestock that are economical to produce. Hence, there is considerable interest in how climate change

might affect world food systems. This paper presents a new framework whereby: (1) climate change

affects the production possibilities associated with land resources throughout the world; and (2) the

resultant shifts in regional production possibilities affect current patterns of world agricultural output

and trade. The framework combines the features of a geographic information system (GIS) with those

of an applied general equilibrium (AGE) economic model. It analyse the impacts on world

commodity production of a climate change scenario generated by the General Circulation Model of the

Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Based on results obtained from GIS, it is found that, under this

scenario, production possibilities for crops and livestock increase for the world as a whole. Not all

commodities benefit, however. Production possibilities for tropical non-grain crops decline. The

results also indicate regional shifts in comparative advantage for some important agricultural

commodities. In the USA, for example, comparative advantage deteriorates for maize and feedintensive

livestock (dairy and pigmeat), and improves for wheat and short-season grains. From a

broader environmental perspective, the results indicate that arctic and tropical ecosystems would be

reduced in size under this climate change scenario. In the tropics, this reduction implies that climate

change could significantly intensify the pressures now facing natural environments from increasing

human populations and expanding agricultural production

[de Visser PHB, Keulen H van, Lantinga EA, Udo HMJ, de Visser PHB, van Keulen H (2001)

Symposium on: Nitrate policy: research, dairy sector and policy makers, Netherlands, November 2000

. Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Science 49: 2-3, 255-276] - Optimization of the utilization of

nutrient resources is an effective first step to realize a sustainable farming system.

[Drewry JJ, Littlejohn RP, Paton RJ (2000) A survey of soil physical properties on sheep and dairy

farms in southern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 43: 2, 251-258] -

This study compared soil macroporosity, bulk density, air permeability, and hydraulic conductivity on

97 sheep and 87 dairy farm sites surveyed in Southland and South Otago, New Zealand. Soil physical

properties of 4 soil groups (15 soils) were investigated. Soils on sheep farms surveyed had

significantly greater air permeability than soils on dairy farms, averaged over 0-15 cm. Soils on sheep

24


farms had significantly greater saturated hydraulic conductivity (86 mm/h and 26 mm/h) than soils on

dairy farms (32 mm/h and 10 mm/h), at 0-5 cm and 10-15 cm, respectively. Macroporosity decreased

from 0-5 cm to 5-10 cm, at a significantly greater rate on dairy farms (by 3.6% v/v) than sheep farms

(by 1.5% v/v). Bulk density increased between 0-5 cm and 5-10 cm by a greater amount for dairy

farms (0.16 t/m3) than for sheep farms (0.12 t/m3). Macroporosity on some fragic pallic soils was

considered limiting for plant growth, while firm brown soils were regarded as well structured and most

likely to resist treading damage.

[Drewry JJ, Paton RJ (2000) Effects of cattle treading and natural amelioration on soil physical

properties and pasture under dairy farming in Southland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of

Agricultural Research 43: 3, 377-386] - The effects of current dairy cow grazing practice, reduced

levels of grazing, and stock exclusion on soil physical properties and pasture dry matter production

were investigated under dairy farming in Southland. The experimental pasture was dominated by

ryegrass and white clover. Current grazing practice involves rotational grazing with dairy cows from

September to May each year, with no grazing during winter. For the reduced grazing treatments,

cattle were excluded during the 3rd, or combined 3rd, 4th, and 5th grazing cycles, or for half-day

grazing intervals to reduce grazing intensity. Macroporosity increased by 70% in the ungrazed

treatment compared with current grazing practice (control) within four months of dairy cow exclusion.

Air permeability was increased by over two orders of magnitude 18 months after trial commencement,

and saturated hydraulic conductivity increased by 200% to the 10-cm soil depth. Macroporosity, air

permeability, and hydraulic conductivity for the reduced grazing treatments were intermediate

between the control and ungrazed treatments. Relationships between macroporosity and pasture

relative yield are presented. At 97% relative pasture yield, the level of macroporosity was 11.5-11.7%

(v/v) in three silt loams.

[Dymock JJ (1993) A case for the introduction of additional dung-burying beetles (Coleoptera:

Scarabaeidae) into New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 36: 1, 163-171] -

New Zealand has an impoverished dung-burying fauna which is unable to efficiently remove large

quantities of dung produced by domestic livestock. It is estimated that dung from beef and dairy cattle

covers up to 5% of pasture at any one time. The introduction of scarabaeids which are active in the

summer would complement the recycling of nutrients by earthworms in winter. Dung burial by

beetles is also known to reduce the number of flies breeding in dung. The activity of dung-burying

beetles can reduce the number of internal parasites of livestock on pasture by 80-90%. It is proposed

that the introduction to New Zealand of dung-burying beetles from countries with similar climate and

soil types would reduce the contamination of pasture by excreta, enhance nutrient cycling and reduce

fly- and helminth-related animal health problems.

[Eisenmann H (1981) Dairying between ecology and economics. Deutsche Molkerei Zeitung 102: 46,

1551-1554] - This address marking the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Bavarian Dairy

Association reviews the development of the Bavarian dairy industry in the last 25 years and discusses

the problem for Bavarian farmers of producing milk at a profit without destroying the beauty of the

local landscape through excessive industrialization of husbandry. The efforts of the Bavarian state

government to strengthen the local dairy industry are described

[Ernst P (1988) Results of trials on reductions in intensity of land use conducted by the Provincial

Institute for Ecology, Landscape Development and Afforestation. KTBL Arbeitspapier No. 131, 61-

72] - Results of trials on reducing amounts of N applied to pastures in the Rheinland are reported.

Herbage DM yields with no N were 4.12 t/ha lower than with 400 kg N/ha at 1 site and 5.4 and 3.2

t/ha lower at 2 sites than with 300 kg N/ha. Cattle grazed on land receiving only 27-31 kg N/ha as

slurry needed about twice the area to achieve the same daily liveweight gains as did those on pastures

given N and slurry at conventional rates. Somewhat similar results were obtained for milk yield, but

differences both in liveweight gain and milk yield were small when pastures contained a high

proportion of Trifolium repens. Delaying the first cut increased DM yield and CF content, but sharply

decreased CP content. Expected reductions in yield from reduced use of fertilizers could be forecast

from properties specific to each site and could be mitigated or overcome by including T. repens in the

sward.

[Fisher DS; Steiner JL, Endale DM, Stuedemann JA, Schomberg HH, Franzluebbers AJ, Wilkinson

SR, Arvanitis LG (2000) The relationship of land use practices to surface water quality in the Upper

Oconee Watershed of Georgia. Forest Ecology and Management 128: 1-2, 39-48] - On a watershed

25


scale, geospatial information can be used to identify water resources that are least buffered from

contamination. The Upper Oconee Watershed of Georgia, USA, contains land areas devoted to

poultry, dairy, and beef production. Within these historically agricultural lands, urbanization is

proceeding rapidly around existing cities. Agricultural production practices are concentrated in the

watershed with poultry in the headwaters area and dairy near a major lake (Lake Oconee). Athens had

a large impact on surface water quality and approximately doubled the amount of phosphorus and

nitrogen in the Oconee River. The Oconee River contributed approximately 70% of the water flowing

to Lake Oconee. The residents of Lake Oconee have noted the 30 dairies located west of the lake

impacting 2 relatively minor creeks flowing to the lake. These 2 creeks make up approximately 2.5%

of the flow to the lake, but the proximity of the dairies to the lake makes losses of phosphorus,

nitrogen, and faecal bacteria apparent in water samples. Faecal coliform numbers were elevated in

some creeks with little agricultural or urban development. Analysis of the Upper Oconee Watershed

identified agricultural impacts and areas that should be priorities for natural resource management to

reduce agricultural non-point source pollution. Focusing conservation efforts at these locations may

prevent agricultural-urban conflict. However, the data also indicate that municipal sources of nutrients

and faecal bacteria must be reduced to make significant progress in the watershed.

[Fischler F (1997) The Common Agricultural Policy 2000: a new plan for the future of European

agriculture. Agrarwirtschaft 46: 8-9, 281-282] - The EU 'Agenda 2000' sets the financial framework

for policy up to 2006 and includes programmes for the expansion of the EU to the East, the new

generation structure policy and the reform of agricultural policy. Future policies will give increasing

emphasis to the environment and sustainable production methods as well as to food safety and quality.

GATT agreement as well as financial pressures require prices be reduced to nearer world levels and

reductions will be made in current price supports for cereals, meat and dairy products. Milk quotas

will continue to 2006 but regulations will be simpler and more flexible. The potential effects of price

reductions on farm incomes will be offset by increased premiums for set aside and extensive livestock

as well as by special rural development measures for mountain and other less favoured rural areas

[Funck D, Latus V (1996) Successful eco-marketing in the food industry. Ecological marketing

opportunities with respect to trade and consumers. Deutsche Milchwirtschaft 47: 22, 1016, 1018-

1019] - Three reasons for the stagnation of 'ecological' marketing with reference to the dairy industry

in Germany are discussed: problems of information, rising costs and insufficient demand. A chart

illustrating reasons for purchasing ecological food products is included. Demands made on the food

industry by different groups are presented. The relative importance of health, environmental concern,

and taste as factors determining consumer behaviour are considered. The position of industry as

product and brand innovator is discussed, as are the consequences of legislation regarding recycling

and waste. Guidelines for successful ecological marketing are given: observing the complete lifecycle

of a product and all its ecological consequences, cooperation between industrial, trade and

disposal sectors, ecological product and methodology know-how, and ecological quality control

[Haas G, Wetterich F; Kopke U (2001) Comparing intensive, extensive and organic grassland farming

in southern Germany by process life cycle assessment. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 83:

1-2, 43-53] - To reduce the environmental burden of agriculture, suitable methods to comprehend and

assess the impact on natural resources are needed. One of the methods considered is the life cycle

assessment (LCA) method, which was used to assess the environmental impacts of 18 grassland farms

in three different farming intensities -- intensive, extensive, and organic - in the Allgau region in

southern Germany. Extensive and organic, compared with intensive farms, could reduce negative

effects in the abiotic impact categories of energy use, global warming potential (GWP) and ground

water mainly by renouncing mineral nitrogen fertilizer. Energy consumption of intensive farms was

19.1 GJ ha-1 and 2.7 GJ t-1 milk, and of extensive and organic farms 8.7 and 5.9 GJ ha-1 along with

1.3 and 1.2 GJ t-1 milk, respectively. Global warming potential was 9.4, 7.0 and 6.3 CO2-equivalents

ha-1 and 1.3, 1.0 and 1.3 CO2-equivalents t-1 milk for the intensive, extensive and organic farms,

respectively. Acidification calculated in SO2-equivalents was high, but the extensive (119 kg SO2 ha-

1) and the organic farms (107 kg SO2 ha-1) emit a lower amount compared with the intensive farms

(136 kg SO2 ha-1). Eutrophication potential computed in PO4-equivalents was higher for intensive

(54.2 kg PO4 ha-1) compared with extensive (31.2 kg PO 4 ha-1) and organic farms (13.5 kg PO4 ha-

1). Farmgate balances for N (80.1, 31.4 and 31.1 kg ha-1) and P (5.3, 4.5 and -2.3 kg ha-1) for

intensive, extensive and organic farms, respectively, indicate the different impacts on ground and

surface water quality. Analysing the impact categories biodiversity, landscape image and animal

26


husbandry, organic farms had clear advantages in the indicators number of grassland species, grazing

cattle, layout of farmstead and herd management, but indices in these categories showed a wide range

and are partly independent of the farming system.

[Hansen S (1995) Effects of manure treatment and soil compaction on plant production of a dairy farm

system converting to organic farming practice. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 56: 3, 173-

186] - The effects of different cattle manure treatment methods, fertilization level and soil compaction

were studied over a period of 6 years in a dairy farm system in Norway during conversion from

conventional to organic farming practice. Yields, botanical composition, earthworm quantity and soil

porosity were monitored. The manure was treated as diluted, aerated and mechanically separated

slurry (solid compost on tilled land and liquid fraction on ley). There were only small differences in

total yield between the different methods of manure treatment. Increasing the manure rate from 90 to

130 to 180 kg N/ha per year increased the average DM yields of mixed pasture from 6.2 to 6.8 to 7.0

t/ha per year and decreased the percentage of legumes in ley and green fodder. Soil compaction by

tractor traffic decreased the average DM yields in ley from 9.0 to 6.6 t/ha per year. Compaction had a

stronger influence on yield than either manure treatment method or nutrient level. Soil compaction

reduced the actual air-filled pore space from 12 to 7% and reduced the number and mass of

earthworms. It was concluded that to improve yields in this organic farming system it was more

important to avoid soil compaction than to increase the manure rate or to choose one specific manure

treatment method.

[Hanson GD, Cunningham LC, Morehart MJ, Parsons RL (1998) Profitability of moderate intensive

grazing of dairy cows in the Northeast. Journal of Dairy Science 81: 3, 821-829] - Analyses of the

profitability of moderate grazing on dairy farms in Pennsylvania and New York. Net income/cow was

higher for dairy farms that used moderate intensive grazing than for those that used extensive grazing.

Moderate intensive grazing could not be considered a high profit system. Detailed analyses during

1992 indicated that returns to management and owner equity were higher for pasture enterprises than

for corn silage or hay enterprises. Positive dairy profits were related to lower feed costs. Milk yield

was lower on farms that used moderate grazing than on those that used extensive grazing. The former

farms had a greater dependence on milk sales as a share of total sales. The reduced use of fertilizers

and chemicals suggests that moderate grazing had environmentally sustainable features.

[Heaton RJ, Sims REH, Tungcul RO (2002) The root growth of Salix viminalis and Eucalyptus nitens

in response to dairy farm pond effluent irrigation. Bioresource Technology 81: 1, 1-6] - The roots of

Salix viminalis and Eucalyptus nitens were influenced by effluent rate, with greater quantities of both

fine and coarse roots in the top soil horizons with the higher effluent rate of 300 m3 ha-1 compared to

150 m3 ha-1. The study has implications on the harvesting of such crops using heavy machinery that

could cause root damage and lessen vigour in the second rotation.

[Hemsted L, Wright S (ed.), McCrea D (2000) Organic dairy in the United States. Handbook of

organic food processing and production, Ed.2, pp. 122-131(Blackwell Science; Oxford; UK)] - This

paper describes the organic dairy sector in the USA. Topics discussed include: conventional dairy

issues; organic dairy pioneers; family farm and corporate models; sustainability of organic agriculture;

and organic dairy products. It is suggested that the organic sector has modelled itself on the

conventional dairy world in that it is represented in every feature of the dairy supermarket. However,

the difference in organic is the treatment of the soil, the air, the water, the animals and ultimately the

value of the food produced for the people.

[Hirata M, Kariya H, Fukuyama K, Higashiyama M (1996) A preliminary simulation approach for

evaluating the effects of land use, animal number and target liveweight gain on the dairy heifer system

at the Sumiyoshi Livestock Farm. Bulletin of the Faculty of Agriculture, Miyazaki University 42: 1-2,

63-76] - A preliminary simulation approach was used to search for management options for a lowerinput

and sustainable system at the Sumiyoshi livestock farm, Japan. Simulations tested 100 scenarios

which included 3 levels of management and evaluated the system with various agricultural and

ecological indices. The system, in terms of all the indices, showed considerable response to the

management factors. Two scenarios were suitable for a lower-input and sustainable system. Their

management options were: forage crop field 0.5 ha, permanent pasture 0.5 ha, animal number 6 and

target liveweight gain 0.4 kg/head daily; forage crop field 0.75 ha, permanent pasture 0.25 ha, animal

number 6 and target liveweight gain 0.6 kg/head daily

27


[Hofer E, Harder W (1995) "Agricultural policy 2002" - the second stage of the agricultural reform.

Agrarforschung 2: 11-12, 485-488] - Swiss agriculture and agricultural policy is currently being fully

transformed. The reforms begun in 1992 in the 7 th Agricultural Report aim to create a sustainable and

competitive agriculture as part of a modern, predominantly service and industrial society. The first

concrete measures, the introduction of two new types of direct payments, came into effect from 1993.

The second stage now consists of revitalizing the market economy in the whole agri-food sector. The

state will greatly reduce its market intervention with profound changes in the dairy and cereals sectors.

As ecology becomes integrated in incomes policy almost all land used by agriculture will, in the

medium term, be cultivated according to integrated production or organic farming regulations. The

new agricultural legislation that these changes would require is suggested. A consultation exercise

with political parties and other interest groups at canton level is to be completed in January 1996

[Hogeveen H, Meijering A (2000) Robotic milking. (Wageningen Academic Publishers, The

Netherlands) pp.308.] – AMS began in mid-1980s, with the first commercial machine installed in the

Netherlands in 1992. After solving the problem of automatically attaching the teat cups AMS have

been installed on over 500 farms world-wide. Innovation continues. The whole farming system has to

change to accommodate AMS.

[Holmes CW (1987) Milk production from managed grasslands. Ecosystems of the World 17B: 101-

112] - A review of milk production in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the Irish Republic, which

concludes that the production of milk from grassland dairy farms depends on the growth, consumption

and conversion into milk of pasture herbage. Improvements in any of these 3 components will lead to

increased milk production, but further increases in production from the most efficient dairy farms

probably depend mainly on increases in herbage production. Intensively managed spring-calving

dairy herds in the Irish Republic and New Zealand produce annually 500 to 600 kg milk fat/ha from

pastures which produce 12 to 13 t DM/ha. Stocking rate has a dominant effect on milk

production/cow and per ha, and on profitability. Higher stocking rates can be carried if pastures are

rotationally grazed, rather than set-stocked; this can give increases in milk production of 10 to 20% by

rationing feed in winter and early spring, and by improving herbage quality. The dates of calving and

drying-off are also important features of herd management that affect productivity. Milk production is

very dependent on herbage supply, which in turn is dependent on weather. Supplementary feeds given

to grazing cows usually have little effect on milk production, except when pasture herbage is in short

supply.

[Holmes CW (2001) Managing fertility in the New Zealand dairy herd. 61st Conference, Lincoln

University, New Zealand, 25-27 June 2001. Proc. New Zealand Society of Animal Production 61: 135-

140] - This paper is to review the importance of fertility in seasonal calving systems; outline changes

in mating, fertility and health since 1940; explain the consequences of genetic selection for increased

milk yields; describe the effects of good feeding management of fertility and suggest that a change in

attitude to the anoestrous cow problem is required. Good health, good body condition at calving and

good feeding during lactation will all contribute to improved fertility. There is now a clear evidence

that the definition of good genetic merit must include good fertility. The combination of good genetic

merit for fertility plus good herd management will achieve good herd fertility, with minimal reliance

on hormonal treatments as demonstrated by a number of commercial herds. This pathway is more

appropriate for the sustainable production of high quality, clean, green dairy products from cows that

are managed to satisfy all their welfare requirements. Indeed a high incidence of anoestrous cows at

the start of mating should be interpreted as a sign of poor welfare in the herd

[Hutson JL, Pitt RE, Koelsch RK, Houser JB, Wagenet RJ (1998) Improving dairy farm sustainability.

II: Environmental losses and nutrient flows. Journal of Production Agriculture 11: 2, 233-239] - An

analysis of nutrient management on a case study dairy farm in New York State found that 60-70% of

the imported N and P were not accounted for in the exported milk, crops and dairy cattle. A process

for accounting for the fate of the excess nutrients and to determine the extent to which they were

contributing to air and water pollution from the farm is presented. Environmental losses of N and net

excess of P in subsections of the farm were estimated. Losses of N from volatilization on the barn

floor and during storage were 16% of total excreted N. As a partial check on these results, manure

nutrient composition for lactating cows was analysed at excretion, on entering storage and on leaving

storage. Soil leaching losses from the farm were calculated using the LEACHN model, and were 9%

28


of total N input to the farm. Predicted nitrate N concentrations in the leachate were 10.6 ppm. Results

from monitoring a stream originating from the farm gave an annual average of 14.4 ppm of nitrate N.

About 80% of the total N input was accounted for as milk sold (25%), dairy cattle sold (2%), leaching

losses (9%) and volatilization/denitrification losses (46%). Environmental losses accounted for 75%

of the excess N. Projected scenarios for increased use of farm-produced forages, reduction in

fertilizers, and increased feed conversion to milk resulted in only minor improvements in the nutrient

imbalance on this farm.

[Jensen LS, Mueller T, Eriksen J, Thorup-Kristensen K, Magid J, Olesen JE (ed.), Eltun R (ed.),

Gooding MJ (ed.), Jensen ES (ed.), Kopke U (1999) Simulation of plant production and N fluxes in

organic farming systems with the soil-plant-atmosphere model DAISY. Designing and testing crop

rotations for organic farming. Proc.-from an international workshop, pp. 235-247 (Danish Research

Centre for Organic Farming, Tjele; Denmark)] - The deterministic soil-plant atmosphere model

DAISY was applied to 2 different systems: a stockless crop rotation where green manures and catch

crops are used as the exclusive nutrient source (at Aarslev, Denmark), and a perennial grass-clover ley

(cut or grazed by dairy cattle) preceding a barley crop (at Foulum, Denmark). The preliminary results

from the on-going simulation study are presented, focusing on the simulation of plant growth under

such low input conditions, the turnover of the incorporated plant residues in the soil, including N

mineralization and leaching, and possible reasons for deviation between simulations and experimental

results. The DAISY model was capable of modelling crop production in organic crop rotations,

although more specific crop modules may have to be calibrated and there was a strong need for a

robust crop module for grass-clover mixtures. The results indicate that the on-going simulation study

will enable the use of the model as an analysis tool for evaluating the sustainability, productivity and

environmental impact of organic crop rotations

[Jongebreur AA, Monteny GJ, Galloway JN (ed.), Cowling EB (ed.), Erisman JW (ed.), Wisniewski J

(ed.), Jordan C (2001) Prevention and control of losses of gaseous nitrogen compounds in livestock

operations: a review. Optimizing nitrogen management in food and energy production and

environmental protection. Proc. 2nd International Nitrogen Conference on Science and Policy,

Potomac, MD, USA, 14-18 October 2001. The ScientificWorld 339, 844-851

(www.thescientificworld.com] - N losses from livestock houses and manure storage facilities

contribute greatly to the total loss of N from livestock farms. Volatilization of ammonia (NH3) is the

major process responsible for the loss of N in husbandry systems with slurry (where average dry

matter content varies between 3 and 13%). Generally speaking, prevention and control of NH3

emission can be done by control of N content in the manure, moisture content, pH, and temperature.

Manure spreading is also a major source of NH3 emission and is dependent on slurry composition,

environmental conditions, and farm management. Losses via NO, N2O, and N2 are important in

husbandry systems with solid manure and straw. As N2O is an intermediate product of complex

biochemical processes of nitrification and denitrification, optimal conditions are the key issues in N2O

reduction strategies. We may expect that in the near future the emission of these greenhouse gases

will get the same attention from policy makers as NH3. Sustainable livestock production has to

combine low emissions of gaseous N compounds with acceptable odour emissions, low emissions of

greenhouse gases, and acceptable standards of animal welfare. For the entrepreneur, the strategy must

be built on the regulations, the special conditions of his farm, and what is reasonably achievable.

[Jung C (1996) Economic situation worsened for dairy farmers. Milk prices in Switzerland. Deutsche

Milchwirtschaft 47: 11, 509] - Following changes in the GATT agreement and reorientation of

agricultural policy, the Swiss government decided in 1996 to lower the basic milk price from 97 to 87

Rp/L. The price reduction is to be passed on to the processors and consumers. The reduction in the

basic milk price has had a negative effect on the income of dairy farmers. Not only was the price of

milk reduced, but also prices of slaughter cattle, cereals, sugar beet and cattle production quotas were

decreased. Approximately FS 300 million has been taken away from the income of farmers through

these measures. Milk price reductions alone resulted in non-compensatory income losses of FS 100

million. Approximately half of the FS 300 million is for the benefit of the consumer and the state

saves approximately FS 162 million. The government has agreed to compensate for the FS 300

million loss in profits by making direct payments amounting to FS 299 million. The direct payments

are to be used mainly for ecological contributions and will therefore benefit farms with integrated

production (IP) systems using controlled free-range farming. Thus only 60% of farms will benefit

since 40% are not in a position to change to IP. For the latter, the lower milk price means a loss of FS

29


7000-8000/year per 100 000 kg milk produced. A further FS 90 million compensation is being

allowed as an interim measure for farms suffering from the 10% cutback on the slaughter cattle

market. On the one hand the government considers that the FS 360 million loss in meat production

compared with the previous year was market-dependent and cannot be compensated, but on the other

hand by means of the guide price it ensures that the meat market situation will only recover at the

lower price level. To relieve the milk bill the government allows a rebate for skim milk fed to

animals, so that with the expected lower demand milk producers will have to export dried skim milk at

their own expense. Approximately 60 000 farms will receive compensation of FS 1500/year by direct

payment, and another FS 12 million 'summer grazing' allowance will be given to alpine cattle farmers.

[Klausner SD, Fox DG, Rasmussen CN, Pitt RE, Tylutki TP, Wright PE, Chase LE, Stone WC (1998)

Improving dairy farm sustainability. I: An approach to animal and crop nutrient management planning.

Journal of Production Agriculture 11: 2, 225-233] - A process for integrating knowledge to develop

and evaluate nutrient management plans for dairy farms is described. The focus is on accounting for

and managing N, P and K on a commercial farm. The case study farm was a well-managed,

progressive dairy farm located in central New York State with 320 lactating cows, 290 heifers and 600

acres of crop land. This farm had the resources and management skills that are a model for dairy

farming in the future . However, mass nutrient balances indicated that 60-72% of imported N, P and K

were in excess of nutrient exports from the farm; 60-80% of the imported nutrients were from

purchased feeds. Evaluation and refinement of diets resulted in a reduction in crude protein content of

the rations by 2% while supporting a 13% increase in milk yield and a 34% decrease in total N

excretion. Partial budgets projected that ration reformulation increased net farm income by $40 200.

Implementation of a crop nutrient management plan was expected to decrease fertilizer purchases and

application expenses by about $1350, but construction of a remote manure storage pond and custom

spreading of manure resulted in a decrease of net farm income of $4000. The vast quantity of data

required and the complexity of the analysis indicate that developing computerized decision aid tools

will be necessary to apply the process to a large number of farms.

[Knight CH (2001) Symposium on Nutritional adaptation to pregnancy and lactation, Dundee, UK, 28-

29 March 2001. Proc. Nutrition Society 60: 4, 527-537] - If conditions are poor, rebreeding will be

delayed and lactation will continue at an energetically-sustainable level for much longer than its

'normal' duration. In this way the twin energetic burdens of pregnancy and lactation are separated and

extremes are avoided. Given the increasing public concern about stresses suffered by intensivelymanaged

dairy cows, this case may be one where commercial dairying could learn useful lessons from

nature.

[Kuipers A, Mandersloot F, Gibon A (ed.), Sibbald,AR (ed.), Thomas C 1999) Reducing nutrient

losses on dairy farms in The Netherlands. Special issue: Sustainability of livestock systems.

Livestock Production Science 61: 2-3, 139-144] - In the European Union, nutrient management is a

topic of major political interest. The goal for nitrogen is that groundwater should contain less than 50

mg nitrate/L. The general approach might result in a maximum amount of N or in a maximum number

of cattle allowed per ha. However, individual countries develop alternative routes and take additional

measures to deal with nutrient losses. In The Netherlands, ammonia volatilization (emission) should

be reduced by 50-70% in the year 2000 compared with 1980, in addition to the European guideline for

nitrate. Emphasis is placed on P and on N. Regulations limit the amount of manure (expressed in P)

applied per ha, with a manure (P) quota allocated to each farm. A more balanced P supply to the land

has been achieved by transport of manure from surplus to deficit areas. Also lower P contents of the

concentrate feeds are encouraged. N losses can mainly be reduced by adapting the farm operation. A

dairy farm simulation model indicated that a combination of more efficient use of fertilizer N and

restricted grazing with a more balanced ration, resulted in considerable reductions in nitrate leaching.

Application of slurry by injection techniques diminishes the ammonia volatilization at farm level by

almost 50%; slurry application by injection and covering of slurry stores have become obligatory and

the the odour of manure is largely eliminated from the environment as well. Application of manure to

the land is only allowed in the growing season. From 1998 on, dairy farmers have to keep records of

the nutrients on a nutrient balance sheet. On the basis of the nutrient balance a tax will be imposed on

surpluses of N and P.

[Lacroix A (1981) Changes in the agricultural work process. Impact of industrialization upon peasant

working conditions. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique and Institut de Recherche

30


Economique et de Planification; Grenoble; France. 299pp.] - The 1970s saw a swing in public opinion

away from moves towards the modernization of French agriculture that begun in the 1960s. This new

view resulted from workers' awareness of the reduction in number of small farmers, the pressures on

those remaining from the production demands by processing companies, the Credit Agricole, and the

exploitation of peasant labour. The criticism of modernization is more for its effects on working

conditions than on prices and farm incomes. Exploitation of peasant labour comes from production,

rather than distribution. The way ecosystems are subordinated to technology is described for the

French dairy industry, as well as the influence of the introduction of capital on length and intensity of

working hours; breakdown of peasant independence; division of labour.

[Lambie T (2000) Why the switch over to organic farming. Organic dairy products. IDF seminar,

Athens, Greece, September 1999. Bulletin of the International Dairy Federation No. 347, 37-38] - A

description is given of the move into organic farming by a dairy farmer in New Zealand. This began

in the 1980s in response to concerns about animal health. Animal health issues were compounded at

the time by severe droughts and very tight financial constraints. Alternative preventive methods of

animal health were studied, with the organic movement the main source of information. A change in

emphasis was made, towards slow release fertilizers, balanced with trace elements; liquid seaweed and

fish fertilizer were used to enhance soil biological activity; a balanced diet was introduced for cows,

with energy supplements used to complement the high-protein grass; trace elements and cider

vinegar/garlic drenches were used with the above programme as a means of preventing animal health

problems. Full Bio-Gro (New Zealand Certification) was achieved in 1991 with milk sold to a

commercial company for cultured milk products on the local market. By 1999 the farm was milking

350 cows on 308 ha with the possibility of increasing this with expanded irrigation. It is concluded

that, because of New Zealand's all year clover-dominated pasture system organic farming can be

achieved in a cost-effective and sustainable manner

[Leinonen P, Heinonen Tanski,H, Rinne K (1998) : Nitrogen economy of cattle slurry aeration and

spreading on to grassland. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica.-Section B, Soil and Plant Science 48: 2,

65-72] - Slurry aeration processes were followed in private dairy farms. Nitrogen losses during 3-6

weeks of aeration were 10% of the total nitrogen (Ntot) and the proportion of NH 4 + from Ntot

increased from 48 to 51%. No changes in NO 3 concentration were observed. The average dry matter

reduction was 16%. The fertilizer values of aerated and non-aerated cattle slurry on grassland did not

differ significantly. In most cases, band-spread slurry gave a higher yield than did the injected slurry.

Water dilution improved N recovery slightly, but not significantly. The N recovery of mineral slurry N

in the next harvest varied considerably, although in most cases it did not significantly differ from that

of the mineral fertilizer. In general, the results obtained encourage the use of cow slurry as a grassland

fertilizer.

[Line C (1986) Intensification of dairying. Bioindustrial Ecosystems 161-174 (Elsevier Science

Publishers; Amsterdam; Netherlands)] - UK average annual milk yields have trebled over last 50 years

and in 1983 exceeded 5000 litres per cow. This increase in production has been partly achieved by

advances in breeding and feeding techniques, but economic pressures have resulted in a rapid

intensification of dairying as farmers try to stay in business. During 1968/69-1978/79 herds of 100 cows increased from 16 to 39%. Fewer

men, with approx. same number of cows concentrated into much larger herds, are producing a

gradually increasing quantity of milk. This chapter explains how this has been achieved in the UK,

and describes some of the changes which have resulted from intensification

[McGarity JW, Sehgal J (ed.), Blum WE (ed.), Gajbhiye KS (1998) Degradation of red soil landscapes

in northern New South Wales (Australia). Red and lateritic soils. Volume1: Managing red and lateritic

soils for sustainable agriculture pp. 253-267 (Publ. AA Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands)] - In the

Lismore area, clearing of rain forest under deep krasnozems (Dystric Nitosols) was followed by

limited cropping, pasture-based dairy farming. Under the usual grazing system, losses of N and

organic matter were 25% of the original level in surface soil (0-15 cm) under forest. The level of total

N appears to have stabilized over the last 60 years under pasture, but the lowest levels, 0.35% N, are

marked by low productivity and N deficiency. There is little evidence of structural deterioration.

Recent changeover to horticultural cropping systems has exposed the soils to a more rapid organic

matter breakdown. Loss of surface soil by water erosion may be an additional and significant

component of organic matter depletion under the new management system. Fertilizers are a

31


continuing requirement for sustaining crop productivity. Soil organic matter is best replenished under

a pasture rotation.

[Molyneux DH, Ross J, Lainson R, Smith CEG, Barnes AM; Jones DM, Edwards MA (ed.),

McDonnell U (ed.). (1982) Animal disease in relation to animal conservation. Proc. Symposia of the

Zoological Society of London, No.50, xviii + 336 pp. (Pub. Academic Press; London; UK)] - The

main theme of the meeting was of infection and disease of domesticated food-producing animals and

their effect on wildlife conservation. The subjects include some of great economic importance to

agriculture such as rinderpest and trypanosomiasis, and some of much importance to human medicine

such as animal and bird carriers of human influenza, trichinelliasis and bubonic plague. Plowright

demonstrates convincingly how vaccination of cattle against rinderpest protects the wildlife

population, but elsewhere in the symposium doubts very much if wildlife populations escape disease

epidemics from time to time. Finally to the badger where once again the establishment seems to have

won without much opposition. No one seems to have heard of the red lechwe and bovine tuberculosis

in Zambia or to suggest, even for the sake of disputation, that in the face of an enormous surplus of

milk it might be worthwhile removing dairy cattle from badger territory!

[Langbehn C, Tietjen A (2000) Costs of dairy production -- results of dairy farms in Schleswig-

Holstein. Zuchtungskunde 72: 6, 411-419] - With the increasing liberalization of the dairy market, the

competition of price grows for the dairy farmer. The situation of the competition for a single farm is

mainly influenced by the costs of dairy production. An empirical analysis based on the data of dairy

farms in Northern Germany shows a large variation of costs of production. The main factor of

influence is the management of production, mostly reflected by the milk yield/cow, and also stock

size. It is necessary to increase productivity of labour and capital through increase in farm size in

order to ensure sustainability and improve the farms position in competition

[Mues C, Roper H, Ockerby J (1994) Survey of Landcare and land management practices. ABARE-

Research-Report No. 94.6, viii + 80pp. Aust. Govt Publ. Service; Canberra; Australia] - Landcare

membership in 1992/93 was estimated to be 29% in the broadacre industries and 19% in the dairy

industry. There is some evidence to suggest that Landcare members are more likely to have

incorporated certain farm practices into their normal farm management programme. These include

conservation tillage practices, tree planting, regular water quality monitoring, excluding stock from

areas affected by land degradation, and to a lesser extent, subdivision of different land classes.

[Nagashima K, Sands R, Whyte AGD, Bilek EM, Nakagoshi N (2002) Regional landscape change as

a consequence of plantation forestry expansion: an example in the Nelson region. New Zealand.

Forest-Ecology-and-Management 163: 1-3, 245-261] - Forestry is expanding in New Zealand and

increasingly contributing to the economy. The expansion has also altered the landscape and will

continue to do so. Forest expansion over the period was mainly from shrub or pasture, and horticulture

expansion from pasture. Both changes probably were related to the higher returns from forestry and

horticulture than from sheep grazing or dairy farming. The large conversion of shrub to other landuses

over the period is of concern because of risk of reduction in biodiversity and loss of habitat for

threatened species.

[O'Connor MB, Boddy IK, Morton JD, Edmeades DC (1996) Nutrient budgets - a key indicator of soil

sustainability. Proc. New Zealand Grassland Association 58: 219-222] - Sustainable land

management is now embedded in New Zealand law in the form of the Resource Management Act,

1991. Nutrient budgets and soil tests are important tools for monitoring soil chemical sustainability.

Nutrient budgets require all inputs and outputs of nutrients from a farm to be quantified. The aim was

to ensure inputs and outputs are in balance thus producing a sustainable system. Recent experience

suggests that using the study group (or Landcare group) approach is an effective way of introducing

the nutrient budgeting approach to farmers. At the same time a computer software package

('Overseer') for assisting the calculations involved is being developed and tested. P nutrient budgets

for two Waikato dairy farms suggest that surplus P is being produced. Such information provides a

basis for future decisions on P fertilizer inputs to balance the P requirements for production against

those for sustainable land management. Nutrient budgets can be aggregated to the regional and

national level as required. By being able to calculate nutrient budgets in this way, New Zealand will be

in a good position to demonstrate a commitment to nutrient management, thus ensuring continued and

perhaps enhanced market access for agricultural products.

32


[Oenema J, Koskamp GJ, Galama PJ (2001) Guiding commercial pilot farms to bridge the gap

between experimental and commercial dairy farms: the project 'Cows & Opportunities'. Symposium

on: Nitrate policy: research, dairy sector and policy makers, Netherlands, November 2000.

Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Science 49: 2-3, 277-296] - Despite 15 years of policies and

measures to decrease nutrient losses in The Netherlands, experimental dairy farms based on careful

nutrient management, like 'De Marke', realize much higher resource use efficiencies and much lower

nutrient surpluses than the average commercial dairy farm. In the project 'Cows & Opportunities', 17

farms were selected representing the full range of conditions for dairy farming, with emphasis on dry

sandy soils because of their environmental constraints. There are intensive discussions and

communications between farmers, extension services, advisers from the industry, researchers and

policy makers. Firstly, all farms were thoroughly analysed in terms of agronomic and environmental

performance in the original situation. Secondly, opportunities for improving their performance were

analysed using sustainability criteria like nutrient losses, energy and water use, emission of

greenhouse gases, crop protection, accumulation of heavy metals, and nature development. Thirdly,

an outline for a farm development plan was formulated to meet the nitrogen and phosphorus surplus

targets set by the Dutch government. These first outlines (designs) were thoroughly discussed

between farmers and researchers. After modelling the farm design to calculate the environmental and

economic effects, the farm development plan was adjusted wherever needed, approved and

implemented. The performance of the farm will be monitored and evaluated over the next few years.

In the original situation, the MINAS nitrogen surplus on the farms ranged from 47 to 349 kg ha-1,

with an average of 207 kg. The modelling results indicated an average N surplus of 131 kg ha-1 after

implementation of the farm development plans, i.e., 19 kg ha-1 less than the target surplus. The

project 'Cows & Opportunities' demonstrates that it is possible to meet the nitrogen and phosphorus

surplus targets by taking simple measures.

[Oosting SJ, Boer IJM de, de Boer IJM, Kyriazakis I (ed.), Zervas G (2002a) Sustainability of organic

dairy farming in the Netherlands. Organic meat and milk from ruminants. Proc. of a joint

international conference organised by the Hellenic Society of Animal Production and the British

Society of Animal Science, Athens, Greece, 4-6 October 2001. 2002, 101-105] - In terms of

ecological sustainability, emissions of green house gases (g CO2-equivalents) and acidification

potential (g SO2-equivalents) per litre of milk were 14 and 40% less for organic than for conventional

dairy farming in the Netherlands, respectively. Organic dairy farming, however, required 42% more

land per litre of milk. Farm economic analyses have shown consistently higher family incomes for

organic than for conventional dairy farming in the last 5 years. The response of agriculture to societal

demands for sociocultural sustainability is partly observed in the concept of multifunctional land use.

In contrast to conventional dairy farming, organic dairy farming is perceived as a relatively open and

extensive farming system that complements such other land use functions. Organic dairy farming is

generally perceived as a "good" way of farming with regard to production method and care for

animals, plants and soil, in contrast to the general perception of conventional farming. Organic food is

often seen as more natural and more authentic than conventional food.

[Oosting SJ, Kyriazakis I (ed.), Zervas G (2002b System hierarchy and sustainable farming system

development. Organic meat and milk from ruminants. Proc of joint international conference

organised by the Hellenic Society of Animal Production and the British Society of Animal Science,

Athens, Greece, 4-6-October 2001.pp. 107-110 (Wageningen Academic Publishers, Netherlands)] -

Sustainability of agricultural production systems is often evaluated in terms of their impacts on

ecological, socio-cultural and economic aspects. Here it is presumed that each of these sustainability

aspects is particularly associated with a system level. Ecological sustainability is associated with the

system level of highest aggregation. Threats to biodiversity and the global climate act on continental

or global scale. Economic sustainability, on the other hand, is the governing factor at relatively low

aggregation levels (e.g. a farm). Socio-cultural sustainability deals with collective human affinity with

culture (which includes agriculture) and history, and it affects the way in which nature, landscape and

agricultural production systems are appreciated. It is of particular importance at the regional level. A

feature common to all kind of hierarchies is that higher system levels have priority of action over

lower system levels. This implies that higher-system-level demands for ecological and socio-cultural

sustainability should put constraints for development of lower system levels. Farm sustainability still

depends largely on economics. Hence, sustainability implies that more collective system levels

(global, national and regional) have the privilege of putting constraints on more individual levels

33


(farms), but also the duty of securing the economic needs of individual farmers. It is concluded that

organic farming systems incorporate to a large extent ecological and sociocultural values, and

presently for organic dairy farmers in the Netherlands this is not at the expense of farm-economic

sustainability.

[Oskam AJ, Groen AF (ed.), Bruchem J van (1996) Economic perspectives of less intensive land use

in dairy farming. Utilization of local feed resources by dairy cattle: perspectives of environmentally

balanced production systems. Proc. Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences Symposium,

Wageningen, Netherlands. pp. 67-83; EAAP Publication No. 84] - Short- and long-term perspectives

of less intensive dairy farming are compared with other options. Three different farming systems are

analysed in relation to sustainable production methods. Results show clearly that low emission levels

of minerals/ha, because of less intensive land use, are accompanied by lower levels of labour income.

Specialized intensive dairy farms are most capable of generating a sufficient income level. They can

pay, either to attract more land or to remove surplus manure. The intensive dairy farms are in a strong

position compared to dairy farms with a high degree of self-sufficiency. This implies that an

integrated farming system in the dairy sector should be able to perform much better than the present

intensive dairy farming in order to justify a sudden and important structural change in dairy farming

systems

[Pacini CG, Vazzana C, Zorini LO, Brossier J (ed.), Dent B (1998) An economic-environmental

model of an organic dairy farm for an evaluation of sustainability in agriculture. Etudes et Recherches

sur les Systemes Agraires et le Developpement INRA. No. 31, 191-204] - The economic and

environmental sustainability of an Italian organic dairy farm is evaluated. A linear programming

model is used to simulate the environmental, economic, technical and organisational farm results.

Two versions of the model were prepared, one for the present situation of the farm (organic version)

and another for the situation prior to conversion from conventional to organic agriculture

(conventional version). The objective function of the model optimises farm gross income. The general

structure of the model is outlined and environmental aspects are specified. In particular three main

environmental components are considered: nitrogen cycle into the agroecosystem, soil erosion and

non-replaceable energy consumption. The results of the simulation show how the organic method

achieves an economic efficiency level equal to the conventional one, due to the favourable price the

farm could obtain for organic milk. Moreover the organic method generates some relevant

environmental effects. The marginal and average production costs of environmental externalities are

calculated through parametric linear programming and a new agricultural policy is suggested based on

the costs of environmental externalities.

[Parfitt RL (1980) A note on the losses from a phosphate cycle under grazed pasture. New Zealand

Journal of Experimental Agriculture 8: 3-4, 215-217] - A well-managed dairy farm on yellow-brown

loam soil with 1250 mm rainfall/yr and an av. temp. of 12°C was used as a model for this study.

Estimates of DM production, P fertilizer requirements and loss of P in animal products and dung are

given. Total P loss/yr was estimated at 18 kg/ha from the soil system and 2 kg/ha runoff loss, and

accounted for half the P fertilizer added. It is concluded that P losses in soil under pasture are

considerable.

[Paul JW, Beauchamp EG (1995) Nitrogen flow on two livestock farms in Ontario: a simple model to

evaluate strategies to improve N utilization. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 5: 4, 35-50] -

Improving N utilization on livestock farms reduces the requirement for external N inputs and also

reduces the risk of soil, air and water pollution. Calculation of N flow on two livestock farms in

Ontario, Canada, showed that 17-21% of imported N was exported as farm products. A simple model

was developed for livestock farms to measure the change in farm N utilization following

improvements in N utilization by animals through changes in diet, increased N retention during

manure collection and storage, and increased manure N utilization by crops following field

application. On a dairy farm, improving N utilization by dairy cattle from 16% to 25% through

changes in animal diet increased the whole-farm N utilization from 18.8% to 28.5%, whereas

increasing manure N utilization by the crop from 27% to 50% increased the whole-farm N utilization

from 19.8% to 22.1%. The highest priority for improving farm N utilization and decreasing the risk of

environmental pollution on livestock farms is by improving N utilization by animals through improved

feeding strategies

34


[Pease J, Bosch D (1994) Relationships among farm operators' water quality opinions, fertilization

practices, and cropland potential to pollute in two regions of Virginia. Journal of Soil and Water

Conservation 49: 5, 477-483] - Relationships among farmer opinions, fertilization practices and

cropland potential to damage water quality were examined in a survey of dairy and grain producers in

two regions of Virginia, USA. Most farmers expressed concern about water quality, but claimed that

water quality problems were not serious on their own farms. Few even considered sites with known

high potential for water quality damage to be a high risk for water quality. Most farmers applied

fertilizers at or below recommended rates. A small proportion agreed with fertilizer practices that may

adversely affect water quality. Such farmers applied significantly more N than other farmers, and

applied N at higher than recommended rates. Crop farmers were characterized by less expressed

environmental concern and acknowledgement of water quality problems. Livestock farmers showed

greater awareness that their farms could contribute to water quality problems.

[Pflimlin A, Hubert B, Leaver D (2001) Grazing: present importance and new concerns. Fourrages

No.166, 117-135] - The interest of grazing grows usually on a par with the constraints dictated by the

environment, as is illustrated by the main livestock farming systems in the European Union: the cattle

and sheep suckling systems predominate largely in the so-called under-endowed regions where their

economic role is often determinant. In the most intensive dairying systems there is often a growing

interest for grazing in most European countries and even in North America. Present-day expectations

of society (health security, nutritive value, quality and genuineness of the nutrients, conditions of

production such as animal welfare, regard for the environment and specifically for water, etc.)

reinforce this trend. To these factors should be added the beneficial impact on the management of

landscapes and of biodiversity so that the arguments in favour of maintaining or even extending

grazing are becoming even more numerous. The mastering of the grazing practice however will

always require the learning of rules difficult to write down, the more so as the new expectations of

society may involve quite different management techniques.

[Phillips CJC, Sorensen JT (1993) Sustainability in cattle production systems. Journal of Agricultural

and Environmental Ethics 6: 1, 61-73] - Cattle production has the potential of being an important

component of sustainable agriculture globally. The ability to transform feed not suitable for humans

into high-quality food will be of great importance in the long-term for feeding a growing population.

Problems of pollution (such as ozone destruction, acid rain, and nitrate leaching) and of health and

welfare, are associated with cattle production. dairy cows can also be used for restricted suckling

combining dairy and beef production. In addition a mixture of species makes grazing more efficient,

and a combination of cattle and mixed cropping can increase resource efficiency. The possibilities of

using organic cattle production systems as prototypes of sustainable cattle production systems are

explored. The effects of production constraints which are applied in organic farming systems are

studied.

[Phillips C (2002) Outlook on Agriculture 31: 1, 7-11] - The intensification of animal production

systems proceeded rapidly in the latter part of the 20th century, often aided by government support.

However, only short-term benefits of intensification were realized and consumers started to select

animal produce from less intensive production systems in the belief that it would be healthier, kinder

to the animals and less likely to cause damage to the environment. Recent research has shown that the

production of high quality traditional dairy products will provide an income for more people than

intensive dairy production, thus helping to serve as a functional basis for rural land use. It is often

argued that extensive production cannot produce enough food for the majority of the population, but

such estimates rely on outdated and inadequate levels of output from the traditional systems. Modern

organic dairy systems, for example, should produce at least two-thirds of that of intensive systems and

should therefore be able to provide for the majority of consumers in the UK. However, it is

anticipated that increased global trade in livestock products will further threaten the livelihood of UK

producers. Their options are to reduce input costs and develop specialized markets for high quality

products ahead of their competitors. For example, the increased potential lifespan of the human

population will encourage people to consume products that promote longevity, such as those with

minimal contamination by pollutants. In many parts of the world, but particularly in the central

continental land masses, livestock production will be challenged by global warming. Traditional

production systems are likely to survive better, as they are buffered against variations in weather. It is

concluded that livestock production systems have the potential to provide high quality food and

employment, especially in marginal areas, and to preserve the land for the benefit of future

35


generations. However, if badly managed, intensive systems may lead to major adverse effects on the

environment, damage to human health and a reduction in food supply for those in developing

countries.

[Pirttijarvi R, Aakkula J, Miettinen A, Sumelius J (2002) Agro-environmental prospects of

environmental support. Julkaisuja Maatalouden Taloudellinen Tutkimuslaitos No. 77, 136-159] - The

Finnish agro-environmental program (AEP) has been set to the regulation of the EU to reduce

agricultural load to the environment, increase biodiversity, and promote the quality of agricultural

landscape. Joining is voluntary for farmers, but several criteria have to be fulfilled. These criteria

include a farm environmental management plan, fertilizing base levels, inspection of pesticide

sprayers, buffer strips, plant cover, and landscape preservation. AEP is put into effect by two

measures: General Agricultural Environmental Protection Scheme (GAEPS) and Supplementary

Protection Scheme (SPS). Of the total M 1700 million of agro-environmental support, M 1350 million

is used for GAEPS and M 350 million for SPS. In the long run agro-environmental support measures

may reduce both erosion and N and P leakage by 30%-50%. AEP is used to compensate farmers for

reduced incomes and increased costs. It is connected to the agricultural support package to balance the

substantial drop in farm income. AEP plays a major role for dairy farms in area A, where well over

60% of the total direct support comes from GAEPS. Organic farming is an especially attractive

alternative for cereal farms in all support areas because of the support for the conversion period and

permanent support for organic farming paid from SPS.

[Plantinga AJ (1996) The effect of agricultural policies on land use and environmental quality.

American Journal of Agricultural Economics 78: 4, 1082-1091] - The environmental quality gains that

may be achieved by reducing agricultural income supports are considered. A new methodology is

developed to estimate land use shares. In an application to Wisconsin (USA), milk price support

reductions result in shifts of marginal agricultural land to forest, reducing soil erosion and providing

off-site water quality improvements. The environmental benefits are estimated to be at least as large as

the decreased welfare burden on consumers and taxpayers, indicating a central role for environmental

quality considerations in motivating policy reforms and a more efficient means of achieving the

environmental quality goals of land retirement programmes.

[Rauniyar GP, Parker WJ (1999) Farmer perceptions of sustainable practices for pastoral livestock

systems in New Zealand. Journal of International Farm Management 2: 2, 79-92] - A nationwide

mail survey of 2000 rural addresses in New Zealand was conducted. Of the 942 questionnaires

returned, 23% effective response rate contained a complete dataset. These were classified into four

farm 'classes': dairy farms (>60 milking cows); larger sheep/beef/deer units (>500 stock units (su));

small units (50-500 su) and hobby farms (


[Richardson M (2003) Kielder forest – Kaingaroa of the North. New Zealand Tree Grower 24(1): 26-

27] – the largest man-made forest in northern Europe sprawls along a high plateau on the English-

Scottish border. The first Spruce trees were planted in 1926 and it now covers 60,000 ha of land. It

replaced extensive areas of moorland. Now, however, timber production, wildlife and tourism are

being integrated – a huge policy shift towards ecological considerations. Kielder is to diversify.

Changing attitudes since the 1970s mean that large rural industries like agriculture and forestry can no

longer pursue single-purpose objectives. Clear-felling of large coupes is no longer permitted - size

now varies from 5 ha in the visible areas to 100 ha in the high plateau areas, rather than being several

hundred ha. Age diversification is also now required, to create a patchwork of age-classes. Felling

coupes are obliged to follow contours rather than convenience. Even the method of log extraction has

changed in areas susceptible to erosion; horses will be used instead of tractors. After harvest, some

areas will not be replanted leaving gaps and corridors, particularly riparian strips, of open space for

birds and other animals. All this makes hard-core foresters squirm. The bigger picture has to be

considered now, in the quest for sustainable systems of production that are environmentally

acceptable. Will Kaingaroa and other large plantation estates in New Zealand eventually become the

Kielders of the south?

[Roygard JKF, Green SR, Clothier BE, Sims REH, Bolan NS (1999) Short-rotation forestry for land

treatment of effluent: a lysimeter study. Australian Journal of Soil Research 37: 5, 983-991] - Land

treatment of waste water using short rotation forestry (SRF) has potential as a sustainable method for

disposal of dairy-farm effluent. Three 3 SRF species, 2 evergreen species of eucalypts (Eucalyptus

nitens, E. saligna) and a deciduous willow (Salix kinuyanagi), were compared in the land treatment of

dairy-farm effluent. Of the 3 tree species, only the S. kinuyanagi treatments maintained leachate

nitrate concentrations below the New Zealand drinking water standard of 11.3 mg NO 3 -N/L

throughout both the winter and summer periods. The E. nitens treatment produced significantly more

oven-dry biomass than the E. saligna trees. The S. kinuyanagi treatment had intermediate production

and was not significantly different from the others. The nutrient accumulation was not significantly

different among the species.

[Roygard JKF, Clothier BE, Green SR, Bolan NS (2001) Tree species for recovering nitrogen from

dairy-farm effluent in New Zealand. Journal of Environmental Quality 30: 3, 1064-1070] - Land

treatment of dairy-farm effluent is being widely adopted as an alternative to disposal into surface

waters in New Zealand. This study investigated water balances and associated N leaching from shortrotation

forest (SRF) species irrigated with dairy-farm effluent. Sydney blue gum (Eucalyptus

saligna) and shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens) and deciduous kinu-yanagi (Salix kinuyanagi) were

grown. Based on N uptake rates observed in this study and average pond discharge, a plantation of 5.4

ha would be required for N recovery on a typical dairy farm in New Zealand.

[Ryhanen M, Sipilainen T, Rabinowicz E (ed.), Marttila J (2002) Effects of the EU-membership and

Agenda 2000 on Finnish cattle farms. Integration of the Baltic Sea Countries to the Common

Agricultural Policy of the EU: Proc. 66 th European Seminar of the European Association of

Agricultural Economists, Tallinn, Estonia, 20-22 May 1999. pp. 176-191 (Wissenschaftsverlag Vauk

Kiel KG; Kiel; Germany)] - This article analyses changes in Finnish dairy and beef farming that arise

from EU membership. The fall in product prices and an increase in direct support have made the

economic result of production and farmers' decisions highly dependent on the latter. Changes will

lead to more extensive farming and perhaps even to apparent farming i.e., to minimizing cost in order

to receive subsidies. The support policy also favours feed grain instead of grassland farming. In

addition, feed based on purchased cereals has become relatively cheaper, which pushes livestock

production in an undesirable direction both from the ecological and ethical points of view.

[Sanchez A, Yajima M (ed.), Tsurumi K (2001) Multifunctional agriculture in the tropics: overcoming

hunger, poverty and environmental degradation. Agricultural technology research for sustainable

development in Developing Regions. Proc. 7th JIRCAS International Symposium, Tsukuba, Japan, 1-

2 Nov 2000. JIRCAS-International Symposium Series No.9, xvii-xxviii] - Agricultural sustainability

is now seen in a multifunctional context, i.e, in terms of food security, poverty reduction, and

environmental enhancement. The case of soil fertility replenishment in Africa is an example of the

multifunctional nature of agricultural development. N from the air is fixed by leguminous tree

fallows, P comes from indigenous phosphate rock deposits, and additional nutrients and carbon rapidly

released from biomass transfers of the nutrient-accumulating shrub Tithonia diversifolia. Many farm

37


families are becoming food-secure because of the large maize grain yield increases attained. Some

farmers are taking their first steps out of poverty by shifting to vegetable crops, dairy and high-value

trees.

[Schmit TM, Knoblauch WA (1995) The impact of nutrient loading restrictions on dairy farm

profitability. Journal of Dairy Science 78: 6, 1267-1281] - A linear programing model was used to

determine the economically optimal dairy herd intensities, manure application rates and crop mix for

unrestricted and restricted scenarios of nitrogen loss on New York dairy farms. Two representative

farms were developed for dairies with 60 or 250 cows that used manure handling systems of no

storage and daily spreading or 6 months of storage and biannual spreading respectivel Both farms

were affected by the imposition of restrictions on N loss; profitability decreases were smaller on the

larger farm, partially because of better conservation and more efficient utilization of manure nutrients.

Optimal cow numbers per hectare decreased by 35% on the smaller farm as restrictions on N loss

intensified. When the initial hectares were retained, the rates of return to equity capital decreased by

>150 and 100% on the farms with 60 and 250 cows, respectively. When hectare adjustments were

optimal the rates of return to equity capital were 47 and 42% on the 60- and 250-cow farms,

respectively. Whether dairy farmers are able to make hectare adjustments under restrictions on N loss

may determine future sustainability and survival of the farming operations. If additional hectares are

not available or feasible to acquire, herd reductions may be necessary to meet restrictions of N loss,

decreasing profitability even further

[Schiere JB, van Keulen H (1999) Harry Stobbs memorial lecture, 1997. Re thinking high input

systems of livestock production: a case study of nitrogen emissions in Dutch dairy farming. Tropical-

Grasslands 33: 1, 1-10] - Livestock are essential in many farming systems. However, livestock can

also cause environmental degradation, pollution and social inequality. The contradiction between

these views lies in differences between production systems, here called modes of agriculture. This

paper by giving a classification of livestock systems as a framework within which to rethink the role

of livestock in high-input agriculture. The classification explains what is meant by high-input systems

by placing them in a sequence of modes in agriculture that each face sustainability problems in

different ways. Secondly, the paper discusses negative effects of livestock in high-input systems by

focusing in on nitrogen surpluses in dairy farming in the Netherlands. It then elaborates ways to cope

with these problems by distinguishing between linear and dynamic aspects. Linear aspects refer to

reductionist approaches like other methods of feeding, housing and/or manure application. Dynamic

aspects refer to holistic approaches which acknowledge that an intervention in one part of the system

affects the functioning of the system elsewhere. Examples of practical and administrative measures

regarding the rethinking of high-input systems are elaborated.

[Schneider T (1991) Milk quota regulation in the EC since 1984. Origin, realization and economic

effects. Deutsche Milchwirtschaft Hildesheim 42: 3, 58-61] - Milk quota regulation in the EC since

1984 is reviewed. The original aims were to match supply with demand within the EC in the short

term, to finance existing stocks, maintain milk production in ecologically sensitive and less

competitive regions, and to ensure income and survival of medium-sized and small family farms. The

regulation was meant to give the member states autonomy in deciding the finer details; trade in milk

products was to remain free within the EC. Realization of these aims in the German Federal Republic

is described. In broad terms, the dried skim milk and butter mountain increased initially, reaching a

peak in 1986, and decreased thereafter. Structural change on farm and land was not halted. About

40% of German farms drew their main income from milk and so any changes might be expected to

have serious consequences. Direct effects of the regulation included freeing of labour, increased beef

supply on the market, depressing meat prices, decline in sales of milk-related concentrates and their

price, and freeing of animal housing capacity.

[Schwarz P (1993) Cleaning in dairies with regard to environmental aspects. Deutsche

Milchwirtschaft 44: 22, 1097-1101] - Cleaning and disinfection of milk processing installations and

equipment are a daily task in the production of hygienically safe milk and milk products. A process

that is of increasing importance is 1-phase cleaning with a newly developed product generation. In

conventional 2-phase cleaning, there are 2 cleaning steps: alkali and acid cleaning, apart from the

initial pre-rinsing and rinsing stage. One-phase cleaning employs the same pre-cleaning procedure,

and then uses either acid or alkali. It has been applied successfully for some years in many milk

processing enterprises, mainly for economic reasons. This paper explains ecological aspects of the

38


process, emphasizing in particular saving of energy and reduction of waste water. Suitable cleaning

and disinfecting solutions must meet the following requirements: products must be biodegradable

(primary degradation at least 80%); complex-forming substances must be biodegradable or eliminable;

low or no phosphates or nitrates; and no phenol derivatives and heavy metals.

[Scott JM (2002) Measuring whole-farm sustainability and profitability at a credible scale.

Agriculture for the Australian Environment Conference. Canberra July 2002] – Agricultural

sustainability is a social construct that can be variously interpreted by different groups in society.

There is a gap between what scientists see as valid research and what farmers see as improved farm

practice. There is also a question of credible scale. To overcome this problem, farmlets have been

designed to compare sustainability with varying levels of inputs and grazing systems. Sustainability

should be measured by assessing biophysical and economic components – and farmers should be

involved in deciding how the systems will be set up, managed and assessed.

[Seligman NG, Blum A, Morin J, Amir J (1997) Agricultural development in Israel: challenges and

opportunities for regional collaboration. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12: 3, 120-123]

- The paper provides an overview of the situation of agricultural production in Israel and the problems

faced. It is noted that less than half the cultivated area used for field crops is irrigated. In nonirrigated

areas, the main crops grown are wheat for grain and silage and several secondary crops,

including sunflower, watermelons and hay legumes. Animal production is predominantly intensive

dairying, poultry production, and aquaculture, all of which use large quantities of imported feed

grains. Problems that face Israeli agriculture in general, and dryland agriculture in particular, are

primarily economic, including low prices for many traditional dryland crops, a small local market, and

increasing input costs. The changing socio-economic situation, reflected by decreasing employment in

agriculture, has added to the problems of proper land use. There is an urgent need for more

appropriate production systems and associated innovative research and development. This includes

management for higher output/input ratios, conservation and enhancement of genetic resources, crop

diversification, integration of crop and livestock production, and alternative land use options such as

agroforestry, recreation, ecological refuges, and landscape enhancement. These challenges are

common to most countries in the Middle East.

[Seufert-H; Hesse-J; Schwarz-HP; Hampel-N 1999) Livestock buildings for suckling cows, according

to fundamental demands and minimum costs. Zeitschrift fur Kulturtechnik und Landentwicklung 40:

5-6, 269-274] - Livestock buildings in Germany have to adhere to fundamental requirements,

including suckling cows in peripheral regions. The law for animal protection of 1998 stipulates that

farm buildings must be adequate to meet the needs of the animals and their behaviour. This also

includes the special training, care, and reliability of those working with the animals. Building

regulations are clearly laid down in the architectural planning and building law. The rules for shelter

against rain are most important. Land, labour and capital are examined and the combination of

minimum costs is inspected to find a future working base for economical calculations.

[Shepherd KD, Ohlsson E, Okalebo JR, Ndufa JK (1996) Potential impact of agroforestry on soil

nutrient balances at the farm scale in the East African Highlands. Fertilizer-Research 44: 2, 87-99] -

N and P flows were modelled for a farm system representative of typical subsistence farms in humid

parts of the East African Highlands. Agroforestry systems did not significantly reduce the N deficits

except when a high proportion of the total biomass was returned to the soil, rather than removed from

the farm. Agroforestry increased N input through biological N fixation and deep N uptake, but this

was offset by a larger nutrient loss from the farm in harvested products in the intensive dairyagroforestry

system. Agroforestry did not increase P inputs, but harvested P increased 5 fold in the

dairy-agroforestry system. Thus, moderate P inputs were required to maintain soil P stocks. N

leaching from the field was the most significant nutrient loss from the farm system. The capture of

subsoil N by deep-rooted trees in agroforestry systems substantially increased N use efficiency. The

budgets were sensitive to N mineralization rates in subsoils, N losses from soils and manures, and

effectiveness of deep-rooted plants in subsoil N capture, for which there is little data for the region.

The current model could not account for important feedback mechanisms that would allow analysis of

the long-term effects of nutrient budgets on nutrient availability and plant productivity.

[Simon L (1997) Agenda 2000': prospects for the Common Agricultural Policy. Monatsberichte uber

die Osterreichische Landwirtschaft 44: 7, 470-476] - The EUC published a strategy paper for

39


agriculture in 1995 and a further Cohesion report in Dec 1996 setting out general policy aims of

improving the competitive position of agriculture, liberalizing trade, greater market orientation of

prices and structural adjustments in parallel with measures to improve the economic potential of rural

areas, protect the rural environment and create sustainable production systems. The Agenda 2000 has

concrete proposals for cereals, oilseeds and protein crops, beef cattle and dairy products as well as

those on direct payments and rural development. The Committee of Agricultural Professional

Organizations (COPA) find the reform proposals unacceptable; COCEGA (the Committee of Rural

Cooperatives) and Austrian Eco-social Forum were also critical. It is suggested that it is impossible to

reconcile a reduction of EU farm prices to world levels with the need for EU family farmers to

produce by environmentally friendly and sustainable systems.

[Singh BP, Madhumita Das, Prasad RN, Das M (1995) Effect of indigenous land-use systems on

nutrient availability in hilly terrain Alfisols of Meghalaya. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 65:

9, 665-672] – In India, the lowest organic carbon and the max. Al+++ contents were in cereal-based

land use whereas the max. accumulation of organic carbon in conjunction with the disappearance of

Al+++ was observed under dairy farming within 15 years of adoption. Al3+ concentration increased

in subsoil due to a lower organic carbon concentration and exchangeable Ca level. The overall

sustainability in restoration and maintenance of soil fertility followed the trend: dairy farming > treebased

land use > cereal-based cropping. Thus dairy- and tree-based land uses showed self-sustainable

systems for soil productivity through effective recycling mechanism, as these are well maintained in

complete absence of chemical fertilizers and amelioratives on sloping-land conditions.

[t’ Mannetje L (ed.), Frame J (1994) Towards sustainable grassland management. In The Netherlands.

Grassland and society. Proc. 15th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, 6-9, June,

1994. pp. 3-18 9 Wageningen, Netherland)] - The major current concern is the reduction of harmful

emissions into the environment while maintaining economic viability. Methods of reducing N

fertilizer rates for grazing include increasing the role of Trifolium repens in grasslands and better

evaluation of protein digestibility in the ruminant. The feasibility of reducing P losses from grassland

ecosystems is also discussed. Plans to increase the area of grasslands managed in relation to nature

conservation in the Netherlands, providing financial compensation to farmers, are described. It is

foreseen that the dairy industry will remain one of the strongest sectors of agriculture although the

number of dairy farms and the number of cows will be reduced.

[ten Berge HFM, van Ittersum MK (ed), Rossing WAH, van de Ven GWJ, Schans J, van de Sanden

PACM (ed.), Donatelli M (ed.), Lacko Bartosova M (2000) Farming options for The Netherlands

explored by multi-objective modelling. Special issue: Developing sustainable agricultural production

systems: agronomic approaches at different levels of scale. Selected papers from the Fifth Congress of

the European Society for Agronomy, Nitra, Slovakia, 28 June-2 July, 1998. European Journal of

Agronomy 13: 2-3, 263-277] - Intensive agriculture in The Netherlands has a price in the form of

environmental degradation and the diminution of nature and landscape values. A reorientation of

farming is needed to find a new balance between economic goals and rural employment, and care for

clean water and air, animal well-being, safe food, and the preservation of soil, landscape and

biodiversity. The search for farm systems that meet such multiple goals requires a systematic

combination of (a) agrotechnical, agroecological and agroeconomic knowledge, with (b) the

stakeholders' joint agreement on normative objectives, to arrive at conceptual new designs followed by

(c) empirical work to test, adapt and refine these under real commercial farming conditions. In this

paper explorative modelling at the whole farm level is presented as a method that effectively integrates

component knowledge at crop or animal level, and outlines the consequences of particular choices on

scientific grounds. This enables quantitative consideration of a broad spectrum of alternative farming

systems, including very innovative and risky ones, before empirical work starts. It thus contributes to

a transparent learning and development process needed to arrive at farm concepts acceptable to both

entrepreneurs and society. Three case studies are presented to illustrate the method: dairy farming on

sandy soils; highly intensified flower bulb industry in sensitive areas in the western Netherlands; and

integrated arable farming. Trade-offs between economic and environmental objectives were assessed

in all three cases, as well as virtual farm configurations that best satisfy specified priority settings.

[Thomet P, Koller P (1996) Good N efficiency on Luzerne dairy farms. Agrarforschung 3: 2, 77-80] -

N inputs and N balances for 12 intensively managed dairy farms in the Luzerne region, Switzerland,

were compared with published results from the Netherlands. Milk yield/ha was higher in the

40


Netherlands than in Switzerland but use of concentrates and mineral N fertilizer was also much higher.

The average annual N surplus was 109 kg/ha in Switzerland and 486 kg in the Netherlands. The

differences are attributed to the contrasting recommended levels of fertilizer application in the 2

countries and the greater use of legumes in Switzerland. It is concluded that the Swiss dairy farming

system is more sustainable and causes less pressure on the environment.

[Thomet P, Pitt J, Baker M (1997) Nitrogen fertilizer use on Swiss grassland. Proc. New Zealand

Grassland Association. Fifty-ninth conference, Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand, 29-31 October

1997. pp. 59: 45-48] - Nitrogen (N) fertilization plays an important role in Swiss grasslands, not only

as a production factor but also as an ecological criterion determining direct payments for farmers. N

fertilizer use reflects this duality and the grassland-based milk production is influenced by the

sustainable type of approach. For comparable milk yields per cow, 4-6 times less concentrate feed

was used and 7-9 times less artificial N was applied per ha of forage land than in the main milk

producing regions of Western Europe. Grassland fertilization was based primarily on farm-produced

slurry, which was carefully stored and spread on grassland. Consequently, the average N balance

surplus on intensive Swiss dairy farms was 109 kg N/ha per year compared to >400 kg in high input

areas of Europe. In good grass production regions in the Swiss lowlands, 20 kg DM (dry matter)

could be gained per kg additional N. However, the permitted level of N use was low in Switzerland.

In addition to the slurry N, only 25-50 kg artificial N/ha per year can be applied to grassland. Swiss

farmers receive high direct payments ($NZ 1000/ha) from the state for applying a strictly

environmentally-friendly farming system

[Toledo P, Andren A, Bjorck L (2002) Composition of raw milk from sustainable production systems.

International Dairy Journal 12: 1, 75-80] - Organic milk production has increased rapidly in many

European countries during the last decade but the merits of organic dairy products are still disputed.

Little unbiased information exists regarding any essential differences in gross composition or other

parameters of technological and/or nutritional interest. Raw milk samples from 31 organic dairy farms

in Sweden were collected once a month during 1 year between April 1999 and March 2000. The

samples were analysed for gross composition, somatic cells, fatty acids, urea, iodine and selenium. As

a reference, milk composition data from similar conventional farms was obtained. The results show

small or no differences in between organic milk and the milk from the conventional farms or average

values regarding gross composition of Swedish raw milk. The only significant differences found were

in urea content and somatic cells, both of which were lower in organic milk. In addition, levels of

selenium were lower in organic milk, which is of nutritional importance since dairy products are

significant dietary sources of selenium in Scandinavian diets.

[Topp CFE, Boatman ND (ed.), Clay-DV (ed.), Goodman A (ed.), Marrs RH (ed.), Marshall EJP (ed.),

Newman JR (ed.), Putwain PD (ed.), Pywell RF (2000) Changing livestock and land use patterns: a

case study - Loch Lomond 1945 to 1985. Vegetation management in changing landscapes, University

of York, UK, 28-30 March 2000. Aspects of Applied Biology No. 58, 321-328] - Since 1945, the

structure of farming in the Loch Lomond area has changed. Over the period the number of dairy cows

has declined while the beef breeding herd and the sheep flock have increased. The area of cropping

has declined significantly. These changes have been partly in response to Government and European

Union policies, and partly a reflection of the change to more intensive and specialized farm

management systems, although the degree of change will have been influenced by land quality.

Furthermore during this period the vegetation and bio-diversity has changed, land has been removed

from agricultural production and planted with trees and at the same time there has been a reduction in

the heather dominated areas. Coupled with the change in agriculture, there has also been a reduction

in farmland birds.

[van Bruchem J , van Keulen H, Gibon A (ed.), Sibbald AR (ed.), Thomas C (1999) Dairy farming in

the Netherlands in transition towards more efficient nutrient use. Special issue: Sustainability of

livestock systems. Livestock Production Science 61: 2-3, 145-153; EAAP Publication No. 4-99] - In

the Netherlands, agriculture as a whole is not environmentally sustainable. It contributes to the

emission of greenhouse gases (about 15%), acid rain (about 50%) and groundwater pollution (about

85%). The surplus of phosphate, averaged over the area of cultivated land amounting to about 40 kg

P/ha, originates about 30 and 40% from dairy farming and pigs, respectively. Nitrogen surpluses,

amounting to about 350 kg/ha, contribute to ammonia, N2O and NOx volatilization and nitrate

leaching, levels that exceed present and future standards. Dairy farming contributes about 55% of the

41


nitrogen losses. Despite their genetic potential and advanced diet formulation, the efficiency with

which animals convert nutrients into animal products remains rather low. A major part of the nutrients

is excreted in faeces and urine. Hence, there is an urgent need for more sustainable nutrient

management at higher hierarchical levels for production systems in which the inputs are tuned to the

carrying capacity of the agro-ecosystem and the internal nutrients in animal manure, e.g. N and P. are

used more efficiently. The paper discusses the effectiveness of management practices to reduce the

nutrient losses, along with aspects of system behaviour. Nutrient flows of dairy farms are analysed

and the most effective interventions identified to (1) maintain level of production while (2) reducing

the nutrient losses to environmentally acceptable levels. Finally, results/projections of prototype

experimental farms are discussed.

[van Heeswijck R; Woodward J; van Heeswijck R (1994) Application of plant biotechnology for

improvement of dairy pastures. 106 pp. Annual Report of workshops held by Australian Dairy

Research and Development Corporation and Agriculture Victoria, at La Trobe University; Bundoora;

Australia] - The Australian dairy industry was seen to remain reliant upon pastures as the primary feed

source in 50 years time. These pastures would continue to be based on white clover (Trifolium repens)

and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) with some contribution from C4 summer grasses in the subtropics.

Total yield of dry matter would be increased and distributed more evenly over the year.

These pastures would be resistant to major pests and diseases and free from animal health problems

such as bloat. There would be increased community awareness of the impact of farming on the

environment and natural resources such as plant nutrients and water would be utilised more effectively

and managed in a sustainable manner.

Plant improvement was seen to play a central role in the achievement of this vision for dairy pastures.

However, not all of the desired characteristics are amenable to manipulation through currently used

plant selection methods. The application of plant biotechnology brings the promise of a whole range of

new techniques and, most importantly the ability to import novel traits through genes derived from a

wide range of biological sources, or through endogenous genes which have been manipulated in a

highly specific, targeted manner. A second workshop was held to identify actual research options for

the application of plant biotechnology to improvement of temperate pasture plants, assess their

feasibility and determine their priority. The range of plant species under consideration was restricted

to perennial ryegrass and white clover. There was clear agreement upon a number of research options

which were both highly attractive in terms of industry outcomes and which should be achievable

within the next 5-15 years, given the state of knowledge and technology development available today.

These research options must be considered to be priorities for industry R&D and include improving:

the digestibility and nutritive value of perennial ryegrass; bloat prevention and efficiency of protein

utilisation in white clover; pest and disease resistance of both white clover and perennial ryegrass.

These research options should lead to industry outcomes of: increased milk yields per hectare from

pasture with reduced seasonal variation in yield and/or quality; lower cost of production of milk;

reduced incidence of bloat; reduced requirements for chemical inputs, including pesticides. The

resolution of other major industry issues through plant biotechnology was considered not to be feasible

within the short/medium term due to current deficiencies in fundamental knowledge of plant biology.

Likely advances in fundamental research, however, would ultimately lead to the feasibility of research

options resulting in: more efficient use of soil nutrients; improved plant root development; and

increased vegetative growth at low temperatures.

[van Horn HH, Newton GL, Kunkle WE (1996) Ruminant nutrition from an environmental

perspective: factors affecting whole-farm nutrient balance. Journal of Animal Science 74: 12, 3082-

3102] - Critical elements for determining environmental balance and accountability require knowledge

of nutrients excreted, potential nutrient removal by plants, acceptable losses of nutrients within the

manure management and crop production systems, and alternatives that permit export of nutrients offfarm.

Nutrient excretions are closely related to nutrient intake and can be predicted by subtracting

predicted nutrients in food animal products exported from the farm from total nutrients consumed.

Intensifying crop production with double or triple cropping often is necessary for high-density food

animal production units to use manure without being forced to export manure or fertilizer co-products

to other farms. Most manures are P-rich relative to N. Most soils bind P effectively and P usually is

permitted to accumulate, allowing for budgets to be based on N. However, P budgeting may be

required in regions where surface runoff of P contributes to algae growth and eutrophication of surface

waters, or where soil P increases to levels of concern. Research is needed to determine whether

42


dietary P allowances can be lowered without detriment to animal production or health in order to

lower P intake and improve N:P ratios in manure relative to fertilization needs.

[van Os M, Van Bruchem J, Van Keulen H, Sorensen JT (1997) Quantity/quality of locally produced

forage and its impact on milk yield and nitrogen utilization efficiency of grassland-based dairy farms.

Livestock farming systems: more than food production. (Pub. Wageningen; Netherlands. Proc. 4th

International Symposium, Foulum, Denmark 22-23 August 1996. pp. 319-328] - In a study of

environmentally-balanced grassland-based dairy farming systems in the Netherlands which also meet

future standards for ammonia emission, a series of dairy farming scenarios was examined. Forage N

uptake was restricted to 300 kg/ha and maximum N and P losses to 180 and 8.7 kg/ha, respectively.

The scenarios were characterized by a variation in DM yield (DMY) from 14.6 to 7.5 t/ha,

corresponding to a net energy content (NEl) of the forage of 5.8 to 6.8 MJ/kg DM, and a crude protein

content of 128 to 252 g/kg DM. Milk yield/cow (MYC) was respectively 5 and 10 t/cow. All model

milk quota outputs of these and intermediate scenarios were 15 t/ha. The scenario with the highest

DMY and the lowest MYC, compared with the extreme alternative (lowest DMY and highest MYC),

resulted in a higher N efficiency at a dairy farming system level (0.41 vs. 0.33), a shift of urea N

towards faecal N, a higher faecal DM excretion rate, and a lower N:organic matter ratio in the excreta

(74 vs. 178 g N/kg organic matter). The predicted ammonia emission was 70% lower. Following the

scenario with the highest DMY and the lowest MYC, the organic matter in stubble and roots was

higher, resulting in a lower N:organic matter ratio in the biomass degraded by the soil microflora (33

vs. 60 g N/kg organic matter). It is suggested that the scenario of a higher DMY together with an

increased NE1:N ratio resulted in a farming system that could operate in balance with the ecosystem,

by safeguarding the structure of the soil, supporting the soil microflora and improve non-fertilizer N

supply.

[Vitterso H (1997) Economies of change in ecological milk production on nine farms. NILF Rapport

No. 1, 104 pp. (Publ. Norsk Institutt for Landbruksokonomisk Forskning; Oslo; Norway)] - Between

1989 and 1996 the Norwegian Centre for Ecological Agriculture carried out a survey of 13 farms

under conversion to organic farming. The economics of 9 of these farms, fully converted or under

conversion to organic dairy farming, in the 1989-94 period, is reported. The way in which the farms

met the challenge of conversion is documented: which agronomic and economic adaptations are

implemented and what consequences these have for the farms' income, costs and final economic

results. It is concluded that the economy of conversion to organic dairy farming depends strongly on

feed supply and utilization.

[Vyaizenen GN, Tokar' AI, Gulyaev VA, Marinets RM, Struchkov AA (1998) Conifer extract for

obtaining ecologically clean product. Kormoproizvodstvo No. 1, 28-29] - Ecologically cleaner milk

was produced by adding conifer needle extract into the diet. The daily diet given to lactating cows

was supplemented with 1 or 5 ml conifer needle extract. Conifer needle extract decreased excretion of

tin, cadmium and chromium in milk to 38-25, 33-20 and 56-24% of the control values, respectively; it

had no effect on the entry of strontium into milk. It also decreased the excretion of nickel and lead

when added at 1 ml/head daily. Urinary excretion of all those heavy metals was greater than excretion

in milk; exception was that of Sn which was absent in urine. Mercury and arsenic were absent in both

milk and urine. Given at 5 ml/head daily conifer needle extract considerably increased the urinary

excretion of all the heavy metals.

[Weissbach F, Ernst P, Mannetje L 't (ed.), Frame J (1994) Nutrient budgets and farm management to

reduce nutrient emissions. Grassland and society. Proc. 15th General Meeting of the European

Grassland Federation, 6-9 June, 1994. pp. 343-360 (Wageningen, Netherlands)] - The problems

caused by intensive farming were reviewed in relation to the environmental implications and the

options for the reduction of nutrient surpluses in dairy farming. Two systems in which output/animal

is maintained or increased were described. The high intensity approach integrated a complex of

technical and management measures for the cycling of nutrients within dairy farms and allowed for

very high milk production/ha. The low intensity approach was based on less intensive land

exploitation and on using permanent grassland with grass-Trifolium repens swards. It was suggested

that the reintegration of arable cropping and animal production within the same farm, preferably using

permanent grasslands with a range of exploitation intensities, offered the best perspective for

ecologically sustainable farming.

43


[Whittemore CT (1995) Response to the environmental and welfare imperatives by U.K. livestock

production industries and research services. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 8: 1,

65-84] - Production methods for food from UK livestock industries (milk, dairy products, meat, eggs)

are undergoing substantial change as a result of the need to respond to environmental and animal

welfare awareness of purchasing customers, and to espouse the principles of environmental protection.

There appears to be a strong will on the part of livestock farmers to satisfy the environmental

imperative, led by the need to maintain market share and by existing and impending legislation. There

has been support forthcoming in the form of Government-sponsored scientific research and

technological development to provide the necessary framework for new environmentally sensitive

practices. The agricultural community has itself made substantial responses to market demand

through the inception of Farm Assured Quality Assurance Schemes. These appear to have a more

sustainable future than the extremes of organic farming and free-range practices. The redistribution of

livestock out of intensive units and into mixed farming systems would require substantial restructuring

of the industry. Many of the animal welfare requirements which have been forwarded as a part of the

environmental agenda for agriculture have been voluntarily accepted by livestock producers. Whilst a

movement away from governmental funding of volume production appears to be justifiable, there has

not been an equivalent balancing of effort toward funding for product quality, sustainability,

environmental protection and animal welfare.

[Wibberley GP (1983) The diversion of land. Agriculture: the triumph and the shame. An

independent assessment. Papers presented at a Seminar held on Tuesday 14 June 1983 at the Royal

Society (Wellcome Lecture Hall) Carlton House Terrace, London SW1.pp. 17-34 (Centre for

Agricultural Strategy, University of Reading; UK)] - The main criticism of the views put forward on

land use in Body's book (WAERSA 25, 1319) is that they present an oversimplified view of a highly

complex subject. Some of the statistical data in the book are questioned. In particular the statement

that continuation of the withdrawal of UK agricultural land to urban use at the present rate would

leave all good farmland built up by the end of the century is condemned as a gross exaggeration. The

idea of moving towards an agriculture of small grassland farms with more land available for

recreation, wildlife and conservation, while attractive, is neither economically nor technically realistic.

Small grassland farms are only economic if handled intensively, most probably as intensive dairy cow

units, and this would merely add to surpluses. Various recent government reports and research

publications on the difficult problem of reconciling economic farming with conservation and

recreation interests are cited and the problems raised are highlighted. Generally Body's motives and

some of his diagnoses of the problems are accepted but his solutions are not considered adequately

researched.

[Wiborg T, Rasmussen S (1997) Sustainable strategies in agriculture. Arbejdspapir KVL Institut for

Okonomi Frederiksberg No. 12, 73 pp.] - This paper analyses development in farm structure in Danish

agriculture from 1971-95. Farm structure (size and number) has developed considerably within the

dairy sector and this is compared with events including changes in agricultural policy, and economic

development. With one or two exceptions, it is difficult to identify any relationship between the

events considered and the changes. The analysis shows that labour productivity increases

considerably with size.

[Wille M (2001) Molkerei-Zeitung-Welt-der-Milch. 55: 21-22, 597-600] - The BSE crisis has led to a

substantial shift in Germany's agricultural and food policies. The emphasis is now on greater

transparency, sustainability and environmental protection, promoting organic farming, and food

quality.

[Willers HC, Karamanlis XN, Schulte DD, Aaldesink H (ed.), van Ierland E (ed.), Klapwijk B (ed.),

Lerrinya G (ed.), Lexmond M (ed.), Terpstra P (1999) Potential of closed water systems on dairy

farms. Options for closed water systems: sustainable water management. Selected papers from a

conference held at Wageningen, Netherlands, March 1988. Water Science and Technology 39: 5, 113-

119] - This paper discusses possible options for closed water systems on dairy farms using information

from farms in the Netherlands, Greece and North America. Animal drinking and cleaning of milking

equipment are the major water demands on dairy farms and, in some regions, large volumes are also

needed for grassland irrigation or manure flushing. Research has shown that treatment of dairy farm

waste water in constructed wetland systems produces good quality effluents. Options suggested for

44


closed water systems are the collection and use of rain water and the treatment and re-use of waste

water for irrigation, manure flushing and animal drinking water

[Wilkie AC, Mulbry WW (2002) Recovery of dairy manure nutrients by benthic freshwater algae.

Bioresource-Technology 84: 1, 81-91] - Harnessing solar energy to grow algal biomass on wastewater

nutrients could provide a holistic solution to nutrient management problems on dairy farms. The

production of algae from a portion of manure nutrients to replace high-protein feed supplements which

are often imported (along with considerable nutrients) onto the farm could potentially link

consumption and supply of on-farm nutrients. Benthic algae growth chambers were operated in semibatch

mode by continuously recycling wastewater and adding manure inputs daily. Compared to a

conventional maize/rye rotation, such benthic algae production rates would require 26% of the land

area requirements for equivalent N uptake rates and 23% of the land area requirements on a P uptake

basis. Combining conventional cropping systems with an algal treatment system could facilitate more

efficient crop production and farm nutrient management, allowing dairy operations to be

environmentally sustainable on fewer acres.

[Wilson GA (1992) A survey on attitudes of landholders to native forest on farmland. Journal of

Environmental Management 34: 2, 117-136] - Survey of attitudes of 189 private landowners to

remnants of native forest on farmland in the Catlins District in the southeast of South Island, New

Zealand. Peak deforestation took place in the late 1950s, with an economic change from small dairy

farms to large-scale sheep farming and amalgamation of small holdings into larger units. The results

confirm the initial hypothesis that people in rural settings have a practical, utilitarian attitude to

remnants of natural ecosystems, as evident in explanations for the present existence of forest remnants

on farmland. There was evidence of changing attitudes, and future large-scale removal of native forest

on farmland in the Catlins is considered unlikely.

[Wojcicki Z (2001) Research methods concerning organization and technical transformations in

agriculture until 2020. Multifunctional agriculture in the tropics: overcoming hunger, poverty and

environmental degradation. Prace Naukowe IBMER No.2, 37-58] - Ten theoretical and real variants

of the future agriculture and farm mechanization models were developed in Poland according to

previously published survey results from 58 actual farms, 31 model farms and 11 supplement farms

specializing in production of sugarbeet and dairy products. Based on further analyses and simulation,

it was predicted that by 2020, approximately 450,000 farms of high commercial production will cover

11-12 million ha arable land, of which 1 million ha will be devoted for intensive production of

'ecological food' and the rest for agricultural allotments and afforestation. The number of tractors will

be reduced by half, but their average power consumption and average tractor utilization will increase,

from 31 to 45 kW and up to 600 h/year, respectively. The use of combine harvesters will decrease

while the use of self-propelled machines including trucks, will increase. Properly completed and

exploited farm machineries do not increase any inputs on agricultural production and the costs of fuels

and electric energy do not exceed 10% of the income value on developing farms. The analysed model

family farms showed a positive economic and energy consumption efficiency, thus, fulfilling the EU

requirements for environmental protection and development of the rural areas. Approximately

100,000 effective farms with the average acreage of 100 ha arable land each would be completely

sufficient. However, because of the social implications and increasing unemployment, the agricultural

policy should support the greatest number of commercial family farms, thus, assuring employment and

equitable income for rural and village population.

[Yamada T, Kawaguchi T (1972) Dissemination of pasture plants by livestock. 2. Recovery, viability

and emergence of some pasture plant seeds passed through the digestive tract of the dairy cow.

Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science 18(1): 8-15] - Seedlings emerging were counted;

seeds were recovered from faeces 12-21 h after feeding, reached a maximum after 36-60 h and then

decreased so that none were recovered on the 4th day. Percentage recovery was highest in Bahia

grass, followed by Italian ryegrass and subterranean clover and lowest in cocksfoot and Ladino clover.

Germination percentage decreased following passage through the digestive tract. Number of seedlings

emerging from 1 kg faeces placed on the lawn was highest in Italian ryegrass, intermediate in Ladino

clover and low in the remaining 3 species.

[Yeates GW (1976) Earthworm population of a pasture spray-irrigated with dairy shed effluent. New

Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 19: 3, 387-391] - Monthly estimates of earthworm numbers

45


and wet weight were made by hand-sorting from July 1974 to July 1975 in a permanent pasture of 1.6

ha, irrigated with some 30 000 l/day of dairy shed effluent during the 270-day milking season. Total

earthworm population averaged 10.1 (5.25-18.10) million/ha weighing 3082 (1590-7110) kg. Mean

dry matter content of soil was 15%, and the C and N contents were 38.6% and 8.2% respectively. An

unirrigated control area was sampled in December and July and contained less than half the number

and weight of earthworms in the irrigated area; this partly reflects different rates of dry matter

production. Maintenance of a relatively high soil moisture level in the irrigated area from September

to November coupled with high soil temperatures resulted in a high earthworm population in

November, and the relatively moist soil from December to March reduced earthworm mortality

relative to the control soil. Effluent irrigation stimulated the earthworm population, ensuring adequate

incorporation of the organic material into the soil.

[Young DL (1989) Policy barriers to sustainable agriculture. American Journal of Alternative

Agriculture 4: 3/4, 135-143] - US agriculture has developed in a mixed environment of private

initiative and government support and is very successful by many measures. American farmers

produce record levels of food and fibre per farm worker at very low budgetary cost to consumers.

Recently, however, concern about resource depletion and agrichemical pollution has caused critics to

question the environmental sustainability of the agricultural production system. Furthermore, pressures

to trim the growing contribution of agricultural subsidies to the national budget deficit have led

legislators and others to question the sustainability of the federal farm programs. Low agrichemical

input or sustainable agricultural practices, such as nitrogen-fixing legumes in rotation with cereals,

could reduce environmental damage. The selectivity and structure of historical farm programs,

however, have economically favoured conventional systems. Farm programs subsidize only about

half the total value of agricultural products. Feed and food grains, cotton, and dairy products receive

the lion's share of payments. Soil-building crops like forage legumes, most edible legumes, hay, and

pasture are excluded. Secondly, the structure of commodity programs favours intensive production of

program crops supported by high fertilizer and pesticide applications. This incentive emanates from

the policy of computing the farm-wide deficiency payment for a program crop proportionately to the

farm's historical 'base' acreage and 'established' yield for the crop. The leading farm program crops of

maize, wheat, cotton, and soyabeans occupied slightly over 60% of cropped acres and received at least

65% of all US agricultural pesticide and fertilizer in the mid-1980s. Despite budget pressures and

environmental concerns, near term termination of farm programs or decoupling them from production

of particular commodities is unlikely. Fears about aggravating financial stress, reducing land values,

and harming agrichemical supply businesses in program crop-growing regions will promote cautious

incremental change. Recent promising signs of 'creeping decoupling' include the 1986 freeze on

established yields, the gradual reduction in target prices, the permitting of multi-year grass or legume

planting as set aside acreage, and the loosening of base acreage restrictions within the 1988 Drought

Relief Bill.

[Zachariasse V (1993) The framework for European agriculture in an international context. Europas

Landwirtschaft - wettbewerbsfahig auf offenen Weltmarkten? Vortrage der DLG Wintertagung am 14.

January 1993 in Wiesbaden. Archiv DLG No. 86, 38-51] - European agriculture is about to enter a

completely new 'ecological' era. The general economic, technological, market and consumer and

political developments to be expected in the next decades and their effects on EC agriculture are

discussed. Agriculture will remain an important economic sector and increasingly an ecological sector

but modern methods and intelligent management will be needed in farms and agribusiness to remain

viable. Ecological considerations will raise costs and protection will be needed to meet these though

at lower levels than at present. Not all farms will survive; the number of dairy farms in the

Netherlands is expected to fall by one third by the year 2000.

46


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Yeates GW (1976) Earthworm population of a pasture spray-irrigated with dairy shed effluent. New

Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 19: 3, 387-391

Young DL (1989) Policy barriers to sustainable agriculture. American Journal of Alternative

Agriculture 4: 3/4, 135-143

Zachariasse V (1993) The framework for European agriculture in an international context. Europas

Landwirtschaft - wettbewerbsfahig auf offenen Weltmarkten? Vortrage der DLG-Wintertagung

14 January 1993 in Wiesbaden. Archiv DLG, No. 86, 38-51

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Chapter 2.

Biodiversity

Introduction

Revegetation projects should aim for multiple benefits, including biodiversity benefits. Land

development for agriculture has resulted in severe losses in species and ecological communities (NRE

1997c) and a critical task now is to halt and redress those losses. This action might also have a positive

impact on sustainable grazing systems.

Jim Crosthwaite, Kim Lowe, Richard Loyn and Vivienne Turner, from Parks, Flora & Fauna division,

provided much of the following summary of information on definitions, State Government initiatives,

future solutions, advantages of fostering biodiversity, and factors affecting wildlife diversity.

What is biodiversity?

One definition of biodiversity is the natural diversity of all life: the sum of all our native species of

flora and fauna, the genetic variation within them, their habitats, and the ecosystems of which they are

an integral part (NRE 1997a). It encompasses a large range of living things and ecosystems that are

constantly evolving and adapting to environmental change (NRE 1997b). As well as genes and life

forms, biodiversity includes interactions between these and the environment (Saunders 2000).

Biodiversity can be viewed in two ways – from a viewpoint of conservation significance or from a

viewpoint of biophysical process. The conservation significance view focuses on the intrinsic value of

biodiversity or 'what we need to do for biodiversity'. The biophysical process view focuses on the

services provided by a balanced, viable and stable ecosystem, or 'how we benefit from biodiversity'.

In the second perspective, healthy ecosystems are necessary for maintaining and regulating:

atmospheric quality, climate, fresh water, marine productivity, soil formation, cycling of nutrients and

waste disposal. Revegetation can contribute to biodiversity in both perspectives.

Biodiversity associated with vegetation on private land

Loss of biodiversity is Australia’s most serious environmental problem (Williams 1999). The

destruction and modification of habitat, particularly through the clearance of native vegetation, is the

most significant cause of biodiversity decline (SEAC 1996; Industry Commission 1998; Williams

1999). The direct consequences of clearing native vegetation for agriculture are the depletion of some

native ecological communities and species. Around 63% of the Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs)

that exist in the Victorian private land estate are classified as 'threatened with extinction', i.e. more

than 70% of their former extent has been lost; EVCs are formally defined classes or types of native

vegetation communities (NRE, in preparation). Careful management of the rural landscape is essential

for biodiversity conservation, as many ecological communities are now highly restricted in extent and

heavily dependent on private landholders for their continued existence.

Assuming current trends of habitat destruction, Recher (1999) believes that less than half of

Australia’s terrestrial bird species will survive the next 100 years. The maintenance or restoration of

functional ecosystems is required to prevent this catastrophe. Recently, existing data on threatened

species in Victoria were collated through Bioregional Networks. These data revealed that 29% of the

State’s populations of threatened species were on private land mostly used for agriculture and that the

most common land management issue affecting these populations (35% of species) was grazing by

stock (Lowe et al. 2000). These threatened species and communities are not adequately conserved in

protected areas such as National Parks and other public land, and require a major increase in habitat on

private land if they are to survive in the long term.

Loss of biodiversity brought about by the clearing of high quality native vegetation is effectively

impossible to reverse in the short or medium term. Replanting will not recreate the soil crust, species

diversity or ecological processes of the original ecological community – at least not for a very long

time. For this reason performance standards that reflect the attainment of ecological thresholds need

to be adopted for biodiversity maintenance and restoration.

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In a recent review of Australia’s environmental performance, the OECD (1998) commented:

Outside of protected areas, while there has been progress in conservation of

natural resources (land, soil and water), progress in conservation of biodiversity

(habitats and species) has been extremely limited. Much remains to be done to

translate Australia’s broader strategic approach and commitment to sustainability

to actual management of natural resources that integrates ecosystem and

biodiversity protection concerns in decision-making and actual practice.

Biodiversity and potential benefits of biological control to agriculture

Farm forestry, nature conservation and agriculture can be mutually compatible, although agricultural

production and nature conservation might best be achieved by managing separate areas of a farm, in

different ways, to achieve these objectives (Wilkins & Harvey 1994; Scott et al. 2000).

The evidence from the New England area in NSW, and elsewhere, is that a diverse array of trees and

shrubs in blocks and belts is needed to allow biological control of pasture pests by birds, parasitic wasps

and other animals (Bennett 1987; Loyn 1985, 1987; Ford 1989; Bennett & Platt 1994; Davidson &

Davidson 1992). Farm forestry plantings could include a variety of indigenous species, including shrubs.

These might be planted in shelter rows, although some (e.g. acacias) could be planted among the timber

species to provide nitrogen.

Summer-flowering species like Bursaria spinosa (sweet bursaria) or Banksia marginata (silver banksia)

are required to enable flower wasps to live in the area and parasitise pasture grubs. The wasps can only

work up to 200 m from the nectar source. Scolid wasps (hairy flower wasps) or Thynnid wasps (flower

wasps) parasitise various pasture scarabs – the female wasps burrow into the soil and lay an egg in each

grub. Robber flies, lacewings, ladybirds, hover flies, mantids and bee-flies all parasitise larvae. The beefly

larvae parasitise wingless grasshoppers. The female bee-flies lay eggs in knot holes in timber – where

this timber is removed the bee-fly numbers are reduced (Davidson & Davidson 1992).

Sugar gliders feed on acacia gum and eucalypt sap in autumn and winter. In spring and summer they feed

on insects, including moths and pasture scarabs that have larval stages, which develop in pastures.

(Suckling 1984; Bennett 1988). They cannot occupy an area if it lacks trees with hollows. Where there

are hollows, planting species such as A. mearnsii (black wattle) in or near a woodlot will provide food for

gliders in winter.

Birds and bats are also insectivorous. Most bats and many birds require hollows in trees for roosting or

nesting. It is important that these hollow-bearing trees (including the dead trees) be retained in areas

destined to be planted for farm forestry. Lizards (including skinks and geckoes)also feed heavily upon

insects, and they also depend upon the presence of fallen timber and dead trees for refuge.

A well-considered farm plan (FFT2 1988; Campbell 1991; Dixon 1994) and integration of local species

with farm forestry or shelter plantings (Bird 2000), can help to cater for the objectives of biodiversity as

well as forestry and agriculture. However, such planning at the farm level needs to be considered in the

broader policy context.

Victoria’s Biodiversity Strategy

In June 1993, Australia ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity. In 1996, the Victorian

Government signed the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity.

The following year, Victoria’s Biodiversity (the State’s Biodiversity Strategy) was released as a

whole-of-Government policy statement on the protection and conservation of Victoria’s biodiversity

(NRE 1997a, NRE 1997b, NRE 1997c). The Biodiversity Strategy stresses that biodiversity

conservation is a task requiring input from Government, industry and the community. NRE has

developed a plan of implementation to lead and facilitate integration of the principles of the Strategy

into business operations of, first, NRE agencies (and relevant industries) and local government and,

later, other agencies and organisations (NRE 1998).

Revegetation activities are to take place within the context of the management objectives established

by the Biodiversity Strategy. The Flora & Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 sets an objective to guarantee

that ‘all taxa of Victoria’s flora and fauna can survive, flourish and retain their potential for

54


evolutionary development in the wild’. This has been interpreted in the Biodiversity Strategy to

establish five key management objectives for biodiversity management in Victoria:

1. There is a reversal, across the entire landscape, of the long-term decline in the extent and quality

of native vegetation, leading to a net gain with the first target being no net loss by the year

2001;

2. The ecological processes and the biodiversity dependent upon terrestrial, freshwater and marine

environments are maintained and, where necessary, restored;

3. The present diversity of species and ecological communities and their viability is maintained or

improved across each bioregion;

4. There is no further preventable decline in the viability of any rare species or of any rare

ecological community; and

5. There is an increase in the viability of threatened species and ecological communities (NRE

1997c).

The Biodiversity Strategy provides a State-wide overview of key management approaches and key

directions for Victoria’s broadly defined landscapes. The Strategy introduces the 22 Victorian

terrestrial biogeographic regions (bioregions), which cluster under the national Interim

Bioregionalisation of Australia (Thackway & Creswell 1995). The bioregions capture the pattern of

ecological characteristics in the landscape, providing a natural framework for recognising and

responding to biodiversity values. The bioregions tend to reflect patterns of land use and the

relationships between natural resource-based activities and biodiversity assets.

The Strategy outlines key management approaches and key directions. The management approach

most relevant to this paper is the maintenance and enhancement of viable remnants of native

vegetation and habitats through co-operative arrangements on private land in the context of Native

Vegetation Plans. The most relevant key direction is to develop and implement Catchment

Management Strategies and Native Vegetation Plans to provide for sustainable utilisation of natural

resources while enhancing biodiversity values across the landscape (NRE 1997c).

The Biodiversity Strategy specifies a policy of “No net loss of native vegetation”, a principle that is

further expounded in Victoria's Draft Native Vegetation Management Framework (NRE 2000b).

Other State Government initiatives to conserve native vegetation on freehold land

In 1987, the State Government introduced the Planning and Environment Act which, among others

matters, controlled the rate of clearing of freehold land. In 1988, the State Government also introduced

the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. This set out a process for identifying threatened species,

communities and threatening processes. The legislation was also intended to set out processes by which

threatened species and communities would be protected. In practice, some critics believe that this has

seldom been achieved (Traill & Porter 2001).

While considerable work was done in the late 1980s and early 1990s to develop better structures for

protecting native vegetation on private land, there were counter pressures that offset those gains. These

included the 'S13 amendment’ of the Planning and Environment Act (1987). This amendment of clause

52.18-3 of the timber production provisions was passed in October 1993. The intention was to allow

relatively unhindered plantation development, while preventing native vegetation clearance in areas of

low rainfall (


· Rural zone – planning authorities (including Local Government) must review their policies to

allow ‘as of right’ planting without planning permission, to a maximum specified area.

- Plantations up to 40 ha would be allowed in most Local Government areas (rural zones) ‘as

of right’, provided that there was compliance with the Code of Forest Practice.

- Some exemptions were given to allow clearance of native vegetation.

- Overlay provisions could be made in planning schemes (such as limitation on clearing of

dead, hollow-bearing trees which are required for nesting by threatened species).

A farmer, or his agent, could apply to DNRE to clear native vegetation for plantation development if:

· Mean annual rainfall exceeds 550 mm; and

· The native vegetation is regrowth less than 10 years old on previously cleared land; or

· The native vegetation is a proclaimed noxious weed or bracken; or

· Native vegetation is not ‘intact’ (as defined below).

Clause 52.18-3 of the VPP indicated that no requirement for a clearing permit is needed if:

· The number of native species does not exceed the number of non-native species; and

· The projected cover of native species does not exceed that of the exotic species; and

· The number of indigenous native species does not exceed the number of exotic species.

The assumption was that if vegetation is not ‘intact’ it had limited conservation value. None of the

Plains Grassy Woodlands – mainly river red gum, yellow gum and yellow box woodland, now less than

3% of the pre-settlement level – could pass the test where the understorey has been degraded.

Shires in Victoria are responsible for timber production on private land and must refer applications to

DNRE if clearing of native vegetation is sought for an area greater than 10 ha (Clause 66.02 of VPP) but

are not obliged to heed advice received from DNRE when considering the application. An area of 10 ha

is, in any case, larger than the total area of remnant vegetation on the average farm in the Glenelg and

Corangamite regions (Amirtharajah & Kearney1996; Amirtharajah 1997).

There were adverse consequences of amendments to the Planning and Environment Act in SW Vic. where

plantation companies have established some 60,000 ha of blue gums in the last four years. For example,

hundreds of mature river red gums and yellow gums, both alive and dead, were cleared on farm lands,

many within the region of red-tailed black cockatoo breeding area (O'Brien 2000). Areas of vegetation

established by Landcare and other bodies were also removed (Powell 2000b; Sim 2000).

Some of these problems alluded to have been acknowledged. Thus, in April 2000, an amendment to the

VPP was proposed by the Minister for Environment, to allow issues of rare and threatened fauna to be

considered in the exemption process. In conjunction with the development of Catchment Management

Authorities (CMAs), State Vegetation Framework (NRE 2000b) and Regional Vegetation Management

Plans (e.g. GHCMA 2000) have been developed to help protect biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

These are currently in draft form.

Apart from plantation establishment, the Native Vegetation Retention (NVR) controls require a

planning permit to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation (subject to a range of exemptions designed

to facilitate normal domestic and rural practices). The stated purpose of the NVR controls, now

located in the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP), is ‘to protect and conserve native vegetation, to

reduce the impact of land and water degradation and provide habitat for plants and animals’. The

controls are now included in the Particular Provisions of all new planning schemes.

Revegetation – how much, where and what type?

Priority-setting procedures have been developed to address the biodiversity conservation tasks facing

our community. These procedures have been applied to all known vegetation communities and

species of native flora and fauna in Victoria. Priorities are set according to conservation significance,

using JANIS (1997) criteria for vegetation communities and IUCN criteria for species (IUCN 1994).

Top priority for management are the species and vegetation communities defined as 'threatened' and

those remnants and populations that are the largest.

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Prioritising the sequence of management actions is also important, by implementing actions to:

(a) protect existing biodiversity assets

(b) enhance their condition,

(c) restore their former extent (regenerate, revegetate, reintroduce).

Too often, management actions for biodiversity jump to the last of these steps – revegetation programs

for native vegetation. Meanwhile, the loss of condition and extent of existing biodiversity assets

(especially fauna and ecosystems) continues to outpace any modest gains achieved through

restoration. Funds spent on mechanisms that allow habitat conservation on private land would be

much more effective than if a similar amount was spent on restoration (where that is even possible).

There are several 'tools' available that can help guide revegetation to make the greatest contribution to

biodiversity outcomes. These include:

1. Specifying the habitat requirements of 'focal species' at the level of remnant patches (Lambeck

1997). This approach is effective when communicating with 'lay' people in rural communities.

Care must be taken that focal species are good representatives of biodiversity in general; so far

the data are generally supportive of this assumption (NRE, in preparation).

2. Using a landscape threshold approach. Bennett and Ford (1997) developed a technique for

showing the relationship between landscape vegetation cover and bird species diversity

(species-area relationship). This can be used to indicate how much vegetation cover is needed

to support different levels of bird species diversity.

3. Determining how the pattern of vegetation affects the capacity to sustain plant and animal

assemblages. How much difference does it make whether landscape cover occurs in a few large

blocks or as scattered fragments? Limited data suggest that groups of patches larger than 10-25

ha support as many forest bird species as single patches of equivalent size (Loyn 1985). Flora

and Fauna Branch in NRE, in conjunction with Andrew Bennett of Deakin University, are

developing a project to help resolve this question.

Clearly, the type of re-vegetation activity that is undertaken will affect the biodiversity outcomes in

whichever sense the term biodiversity is used. Regeneration of native vegetation adjacent to, or near,

existing remnants is likely to be the most valuable. Planting of fast-growing species as monocultures

is likely to have the least benefit, and may even contribute to the further loss of biodiversity. Basing

selection of species on knowledge of the pre-1750 vegetation is necessary to most effectively achieve

the objectives of the Biodiversity Strategy.

Enhancing remnant blocks of vegetation.

Revegetation can play an important role in enhancing remnant blocks of vegetation. Such blocks should

preferably be more than 2 ha (Ford 1989). Small animals such as the swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus) can

survive on small areas but larger species, such as bandicoots, potoroos, owls and yellow-bellied

gliders, need large areas. Potoroo (Potorous tridactylus) in SW Victoria occur only in areas of

vegetation greater than about 10 ha (Bennett & Platt 1994), whilst powerful owls (Ninox strenua) may

need more than 1 000 ha (Webster et al. 1999). Forest patches smaller than 10 ha tend to be degraded

by stock, and diversity of forest birds is further reduced by aggressive territorial actions of native birds

such as noisy miners (Loyn 1987; Grey et al. 1997, 1998; Bennett et al. 1998). Wildlife in small areas

is also vulnerable to catastrophic events (e.g. fire) and predation by foxes and cats. This area effect is

not evident where patches of old forest are embedded in large areas of regrowth forest (Loyn 1997),

showing the potential to use plantings to protect small remnants. Species richness increases

exponentially with block area, and generally the priority species for conservation require large blocks

(at least 25 ha).

Size of corridors and proximity to other blocks

Corridors of vegetation in the rural landscape are vital for conservation, and benefit agriculture

through insect control by the native species they support (Bennett & Platt 1994). Corridors provide

living areas as well as opportunities for movement between areas (Carrucan 1999). The width of a

corridor is critical – if too narrow it does not adequately protect residents or individuals in transit.

Interim prescriptions are for natural corridors of 30-100 m width, for example streamlines, which

should be fenced to exclude damage to the understorey by grazing stock (Barrett 2000; Bennett & Platt

57


1994; Carrucan 1999; Kinross 2000). Aggressive birds such as noisy miners will dominate small and

narrow areas of bush where the understorey is disturbed, reducing the numbers of species and

individuals (Loyn 1987; Bennett & Platt 1994).

Middleton (1978) found 93 bird species on a 100 m × 2.7 km tree, shrub and grassy woodland roadside in

a roadside near Dimboola. Forty percent of the 240 bird species recorded in the Wimmera were seen

there, with 35 species nesting. However, only 12 species were seen in every month of the year, indicating

the importance of migration and suitable habitat for birds (Middleton 1999).

Fragmentation and isolation can result in the local extinction of a population. Thus, an isolated

population of 100 potoroos may survive for 100 years, or 10 potoroos for 20 years. If a corridor exists

to other populations, the latter group has a 50% chance of surviving to 100 years (Platt 1996). Species

such as skinks are unable to cross open paddocks. The progress of tiny animals such as brown

antechinus (Antechinus agilis), wrens and thornbills is similarly impeded by gaps in native vegetation

cover. This prevents dispersal of young and seasonal food-gathering during migration.

Structure of the vegetation

Management affects the age and nature of the understorey. Fairy-wrens and many other small birds,

including scrub-wrens, striated thornbills, red-browed finches and yellow robins, will not occupy a site

bereft of shrubs. Even-aged trees do not provide the required habitat diversity for continuous provision of

food and shelter. Trees less than 70 cm diameter often provide few hollows, and timber harvesting or

culling policies made without regard to species that need hollows to survive is very short-sighted.

Hollows are used by at least 57 species of Australian birds for diurnal shelter or nesting (Bennett & Platt

1994) and these may be excluded from an area, or will not breed there, if the habitat contains too few

hollows. Gliders, possums and bats also need hollows (Thomas 2000).

The current Australia-wide Bird Atlas project co-ordinated by Birds Australia will provide information on

the effect of vegetation type, structure and management on the diversity of species of birds in our various

landscapes. Preliminary data from 330 farms (Barrett 2000) indicate the positive influence of the

following structural factors on overall diversity of bird species:

• understorey shrubs – 20-30% increase in diversity where there are shrubs in a 2-ha site;

• large, old trees – a 3% increase for every large old tree present in a 2-ha site;

• fallen trees – a 7% increase in the diversity of bark-foraging species for every fallen tree present

in a 2-ha site;

• planted trees – bird diversity increased 7-10 years after planting.

For species of conservation significance, threshold levels are higher. For example, the diamond

firetail requires a minimum patch size of 25 hectares and with shrubs to be present in at least 70% of

the patch; this species is also sensitive to connectivity between patches. Given its sensitivity to these

ecological parameters, the diamond firetail has been selected as one of the focal species in the Plains

Grassy Woodland (Ahern et al., in preparation).

Focal species provide a powerful and readily understood reference point when communicating with

farmers and others. A data set is being on focal species and the threshold requirements for native

vegetation is being developed for the Riverina and Northern Inland Slopes Bioregion (Ahern et al., in

preparation); this work will be extended to other bioregions in Victoria.

Management of the vegetation

The diversity and health of the flora – and therefore diversity of fauna – is affected by management,

particularly grazing, fire and harvesting (Bennett 1987; Loyn 1987; Bennett & Platt 1994). Fauna are

dependent on diversity of habitat, whether natural or planted. Thus, sugar gliders benefit from Acacia

mearnsii (black wattle) because this species provides gum in the winter months when other food is

scarce. Thinning operations that result in the creation of even-aged monocultures, or planting

prescriptions that ignore diversity of plant species, are certain to result in living areas devoid of

suitable refuge areas, nest sites or feeding opportunities. The end-result is a poor diversity of flora and

fauna.

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Retention of old dead trees, stumps and logs to provide refuge for species of birds, mammals, lizards and

insects, is a vital part of habitat management (Thomas 2000). Fish must also have snags (logs) in streams

to provide cover and a substrate for other organisms in the food chain (Anon. 1996; Whittington 2000).

Proximity to water

Many species of birds, but not all, require water for drinking, feeding or nest-building. Tree plantings of

suitable species positioned near a source of water are likely to greatly enhance local bird diversity

(Bennett & Platt 1994; Barrett 2000), although some species may be disadvantaged.

Managing in a landscape context

The three dimensions of protection, management and restoration come together when a landscape

perspective is taken. The objectives for biodiversity management established in the Biodiversity Strategy

can only be achieved if a landscape perspective is taken and emphasised. Rules for planning and

managing native vegetation at the landscape level are being developed (Ahern et al., in preparation;

Bennett et al. 2000; Freudenberger 2001; Platt 2002).

The Biodiversity Reporting Framework clarifies the achievements of biodiversity conservation activities

and ensures appropriate feedback on outcomes to continually improve the design and targeting of

programs (NRE 1997c). The Framework sets up a biodiversity 'trinity' (presented in order of

intervention) - protect, manage to improve condition, restore species and communities (by regeneration,

revegetation, reintroduction). Restoration or revegetation is driven by the thresholds and focal species

approaches, outlined above, brought together into local landscapes.

The Framework has several goals. Those particularly relevant to this paper are:

• quantitative review of progress towards program (biodiversity) goals;

• setting performance targets for natural resource managers who share responsibility for achieving

overall conservation targets for particular species and communities;

• refinement of priorities and strategic approaches through continuous improvement.

Revegetation must be specifically designed to achieve desired biodiversity conservation benefits:

• ecological thresholds achieved – e.g. patch size, components, connectivity

• correct/appropriate vegetation type, using pre-1750 vegetation as a guide.

Addendum

A series of articles on these and other aspects of biodiversity in agriculture were prepared for the

MLA’s Sustainable Grazing Systems national project. These were published in the Prograzier

magazine in July 2002, and in their Tips & Tools leaflets. Some of the articles include Bird (2002),

Bird & Kinross (2002a,b,c,d), Bird et al. (2002), Sudmeyer & Bird (2002), Williams et al. (2002). The

article presented below (Bird 2003) summarises much of the information that is relevant to a farmer and

has been prepared from MLA (2002) and other sources. Barrett (2000), Freudenberger (2001), Bennett

et al. (2000) and Platt (2002) should be consulted for additional detail.

‘Encouraging birds on farms’ (Bird 2003)

A bleak future for woodland birds?

Assuming current trends of habitat destruction, one estimate is that only one third of Australia’s

terrestrial bird species will survive the next 50 years. With almost 700,000 ha cleared each year, less

than 10% of the original vegetation remains over large areas of rural Australia. In SW Victoria, the

average total area of remnant vegetation on farms is less than 8 ha.

Why worry about birds? Because the health of our ecosystems is reflected in the status of our birds.

Apart from the pleasure given to us by the sight and song of birds, they also indicate the likely

presence of other native animals. Birds also exert a natural control of agricultural pests. A diverse

population of birds will remove up to 70% of leaf-feeding insects from patches of farm trees. Without

birds tree dieback occurs and successful tree establishment is also much harder. Noted ornithologist,

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the late Graham Pizzey, remarked that "the best legacy we can leave our children and their children are

diverse, healthy, natural ecosystems". So, what can we do about it?

A 10-point stock-take - what is missing on your farm for the kinds of birds you want?

1. Do you have adequate wetlands for waterbirds? (Are some wetlands managed for wildlife? Is

there an adequate buffer with live and dead trees around the wetland to provide cover, roosts

and nesting places?)

2. Do you have any bush remnants and are they large enough to support a population of birds?

(Some species need large areas and will not be found in small remnants – ideally, local

vegetation should cover 30% of the farm to achieve multiple sustainability goals. Fence the

large remnants before starting new planting elsewhere).

3. Are there any links between patches of bush? (Corridors enable movement of small birds and

other animals between patches of bush. Where possible, enlarge the remnants by belts that link

remnant blocks and assist natural regeneration near the remnants by herbicide or cultivation).

4. Are there shrubs and understorey in the patches of remnant trees? (Fairy-wrens, scrub-wrens

and many thornbills cannot breed or occupy areas that have no ground cover or shrub cover.

Shrub cover is needed in about 30% of the patch of trees – when fenced to control grazing,

assist natural regeneration or plant local understorey species in the large gaps).

5. Are there any standing dead trees and large old trees for hollow-dependent birds and other

animals? (Hollows are required by 57 species of our birds - kingfishers, tree martins,

pardalotes, some ducks and most parrots and owls nest in hollows. Bats and small arboreal

mammals also need hollows for shelter or nest sites. When flowering, birds and gliders also

seek large old trees because they produce much more nectar).

6. Are there logs and leaf litter in the remnants? (Some species, including stone-curlews and

spotted nightjars, rely on this for protection while others, like robins, flycatchers, thornbills,

treecreepers and babblers, require it to supply their food sources. Do not “tidy up” these areas).

7. Are there any flowering species present in the area to attract honeyeaters and lorikeets? (Avoid

planting too many flowering shrubs because that could result in the area dominated by

aggressive New Holland honeyeaters, noisy miners and red wattlebirds).

8. Do you have any water points in or near the remnant areas for birds to drink from? (About 75%

of our forest or woodland birds are insectivorous and require no drinking water. Seed-eaters,

including finches and many parrots, do need water but most will travel some distance to find it).

9. Do you have some areas of native grassland that are fenced to allow management of grazing?

(Spell such areas in late spring to allow seed to be set in summer).

10. Do you need to control cats and foxes? (Ground-nesting species are particularly vulnerable).

Applying the theory to your farm and region

Studies by CSIRO, Birds Australia and NRE provide a wealth of suggestions on revegetation and

protection/restoration of remnants. Some of these suggestions may be difficult to implement on small

properties. For example, remnants ideally need to be at least 10 ha in size to be fully effective and

corridors are suggested to be 25 or 50 m wide. Where possible, aim for corridors at least 20 m wide

that contain at least 2 rows of shrub species. Three-row shelterbelts that are 10 m wide will also

provide some benefits, providing that at least one row contains shrub species.

Small areas of remnants are important and must be retained, but they cannot sustain large numbers of

species, particularly those that have very specific needs. Such areas are unlikely to be self-sustaining

in the long term unless they are enhanced and enlarged.

Other action that could be taken:

• Work with Landcare groups and neighbours to protect larger areas near common boundaries

• Include roadsides and other reserves in the plan and help maintain them – help Shires, State

departments and fire brigades to maintain native vegetation on the reserves

• Expand the reserves by fencing adjacent strips on your property – this could provide the

additional width required for a viable corridor or a block of bush

• Government to provide financial incentives/offsets/compensation to allow creation of adequate

width of corridors (incl. riparian strips) that will be retained for nature conservation and

landscape protection (one possibility is the bush tender system linked to a covenant; Shire rate

remission is another inducement)

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Biodiversity (including wildlife) – a review of world literature 1972-2002

Dairying and other forms of agricultural production all have an impact on biodiversity. In some cases,

where it replaces the indigenous species with exotics, it is directly negative.

Dairying can also change the conditions in portions of the catchment that may not have been directly

affected – e.g. streams. In that regard, Ackerman (2000) provides a study of fish kill incidents and

stream impairment due to manure application in Wisconsin. Four recent cases were detailed where

liquid livestock waste from piggeries and a dairy were applied to cropland and resulted in fish-kill

incidents. Illinois water quality standards were also violated. When properly land-applied, livestock

waste is a valuable fertilizer but the method of application plays a significant role in the effect manure

will have on surface water quality.

The paper by Harms et al. (1998) remind us that dairying itself may, in some situations, be regarded as

the best environmental solution, particularly where conservation of ‘meadow’ birds are concerned.

These are usually situations where the original landscape has been vastly altered. A paper by Topp et

al. (2000) indicates that changes in agriculture to forestry, coupled with a decline in dairying and

cropping but an increase in beef cattle and sheep, have decreased the farmland birds.

Jobin et al. (1995) found that, in the agriculturally most productive area of Quebec, bird species

richness and abundance were greater in a heterogeneous landscape than in those characterized mainly

by cash crops (maize, wheat, soyabeans). Many dairy farms have disappeared over the past 25 years

because of abandonment, urbanization and industrialization and these changes appear to be responsible

for fluctuations in populations of a number of farmland species in the St. Lawrence Lowland. Many

species associated with dairy farming are decreasing in abundance, while other species appear to be

benefiting from the introduction of intensive agriculture.

Something of this theme is taken up by Buchgraber (1995): “Austria needs the meadows, the pastures,

the livestock and its farmers”. Some 50% of the area which is grazed or cropped only once is

considered to be an exceptional habitat for a wide variety of, sometimes rare, flora and fauna and the

remainder, slightly more intensively utilized, still has at least an average range of flora and fauna.

Cattle, sheep and goats provide the cheapest and best method of maintaining the landscape and

ecological advantages of these areas and the grassland cover is important in preventing erosion and in

conservation in water catchment areas. It is nevertheless very difficult for grassland farmers to obtain

an adequate income, particularly if they are dependent on meat rather than dairy production. There is

an urgent need for policies that will help to keep such farmers on the land.

We need to be aware, however, that what may be self-evident in Europe in regards to biodiversity and

livestock farming, need not (and usually does not) apply in Australia. The flora and fauna there have

adapted to grazing practices over thousands of years; the soils are different; and many of the practices

are less destructive. Our flora has, in the main, developed in a culture of low fertility and grazing by

soft-footed animals. We have altered that, as well as introducing a multitude of new plant and animal

species, together with cultivation and cropping. The difference between Australia and Europe in that

regard is highlighted by van Strien et al.’s (1988) survey of factors affecting the floristic richness of

dairy farms on peat grassland in The Netherlands. N supply (0-600 kg N/ha per year) was the most

important factor determining number of quality-indicating species. At levels below 200 kg N/ha per

year, a considerable number of species of conservational value (e.g. Lychnis flos-cuculi and Carex

nigra) became abundant. Additional factors were dressing with peat mud and soil type. Interestingly,

utilization of grassland (whether frequently cut or continuously grazed), ground water table level, pH,

P and K contents of the topsoil and type of animal manure had no effect on floristic richness.

le Coeur et al. (2002) examined the relationship between hedgerow biodiversity and farming activities

in adjacent fields in western France landscapes differing in their density of hedgerows and their

relative abundance of grassland versus crops. The dominant agriculture of the region was dairy

production, utilizing grassland, maize and cereals. Not surprisingly, the composition of the plant

assemblages of the herb layer of field boundaries depends upon complex interactions between local

structure, herb layer management, field use, farm types and landscape structure. The latter factors are

related to the diversity of farming systems.

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CRC (1985) describes a study of landscape and wildlife conservation on farms in the east of Scotland.

The majority of conservation proposals were acceptable to the farmers and encouraging evidence

emerged that much can be achieved for landscape and wildlife conservation given the provision of an

advisory service.

von Boberfeld (1989) noted that conservation programs are often aimed at preserving sub-climax

rather than climax vegetation and that the sub-climax vegetation is more susceptible to environmental

disruption. In the German Federal Republic 35 grassland species are endangered, and these belong in

wet meadows and waterlogged areas, where conservation efforts need to be directed. Water meadows

in Australia have been severely affected by drainage and it is likely that conservation areas are also

required for those particular EVCs. This raises the question as to who pays for such conservation, as

these seasonal wetlands are usually drained in the dairy region, or used for raised-bed cropping.

Farmers who lose productive land would like to be compensated.

The balance between agriculture and nature conservation is inevitably tilted towards agriculture, as a

result of economic pressure, unless there are compensatory offsets and regulation. Clausman &

Melman (1991) comment on this in regard the coexistence of intensive dairy farming and important

nature values in the peat polder district in the Netherlands. Government and private organizations for

nature conservation are looking for possibilities to preserve this equilibrium. Existing and possible

new instruments of policy include nature reserves, management agreements, payment for nature

'production', voluntary management adaptations and ditch-bank vegetation. The instruments are

divided into those that need a permanent external financial incentive and those that can do without

such stimuli.

Negative impacts of wildlife on agriculture

Molyneux et al. (1980) discuss the infection and disease of domesticated food-producing animals by

wildlife, and the effects on wildlife conservation. The subjects include some of great economic

importance to agriculture such as rinderpest and trypanosomiasis, and some of much importance to

human medicine such as animal and bird carriers of human influenza, trichinelliasis and bubonic

plague.

The following are examples of negative effects of association of wildlife with agricultural production.

• Ticks - Schmidtmann et al. (1998) blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae),

on dairy farms in North-western Wisconsin, associated with woods and secondary vegetation or

margins of pastures adjacent to woodlands. Ticks were most prevalent and numerous in

ungrazed woodlands, particularly on farms where evidence of white-tailed deer was apparent.

• Wild geese - Patton and Frame (1981) investigated loss of herbage available for spring grazing

from improved grassland due to grazing by wild immigrant barnacle geese or greylag geese. On

Islay the potential maximum loss averaged 1.3 t DM/ha, representing c. 80 cow-grazing

days/ha; at Castle Douglas the loss of herbage averaged 1.5 t DM/ha, representing c. 90 cowgrazing

days/ha. Bruinderink (1989) assessed the impact of wild geese visiting improved

grasslands in the Netherlands, where the number of migratory geese spending winter and early

spring in the Netherlands increased from 100,000 in the early 1960s to almost 600,000 in the

1983-84 winter. Grazing by wild geese on improved grasslands in winter and early spring

resulted in DM yield losses at first cut or grazing of 335-1100 kg/ha depending on grazing

pressure, time of grazing and productivity of the sward.

• Vampire bats - Thompson et al. (1977) found that severe vampire bat parasitism in Ecuador

and Nicaragua had little or no effect on milk yield of healthy cows in a mild climate but was

detrimental to cows already under stress from poor diet, stressful climate, and other parasites.

• Bovine Tuberculosis - Denny & Wilesmith (1999) provide evidence for the role of the badger

in transmission of bovine TB in Northern Ireland. Badgers are routinely exterminated from

dairying areas in the UK. and Molyneux et al. (1980) note “that in the face of an enormous

surplus of milk it might be worthwhile removing dairy cattle from badger territory!” (to protect

the badgers from TB infection and persecution).

• Damage to silage wrapping by native bird species

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Corridors and connectivity

van Langevelde (1999) and van Langevelde et al. (2000) investigated variables that could be used to

estimate the degree of connectivity of habitat patches, whether habitat selection is limited in

landscapes with fragmented habitat, and the optimal allocation of networks of patches within the

agricultural landscape that could allow for a sustainable population of a particular species. He used a

spatial optimization model for conservation planning in a dairy landscape in Netherlands. MENTOR.

allocates new sites as stepping stones between existing sites and shows the probable effect on local

populations of biota, in terms of species richness per patch, proportion habitat occupied etc. – and

impact on agriculture.

Implementation of effective biodiversity plans for dairy areas in SW Victoria

On the dairy farm, the reality is that very little of most small farms has retained any natural vegetation.

The survey of Amirtharajah (1997) for the Corangamite area provides the best data available for

agriculture as a whole in the region. A random sample of 154 farms was taken, with the average size

being 397 ha. Some 4.6% of the average farm was planted with trees, an average of 18 ha per farm.

The average area of remnant vegetation was 7-13 ha (1-3%, depending on how ‘remnant vegetation’

was defined) with a range of 1-40 ha. Some 67% of all farms had nil or only a few trees left in any

paddocks, with no other remnants. About 36% of farmers saw no point in fencing off remnant

vegetation. Over 83% had planted since 1990, with an average of 1.3 ha being planted since 1993.

Some 14% planted for conservation purposes, 23% for land protection, 14 % for farm forestry and

48% for shade and shelter.

On the basis of the evidence from Amirtharajah (1997) and Amirtharajah & Kearney (1996) it would

seem that the situation with dairy farms and remnant vegetation is probably worse than for farms in

general. The report by Terry Makin & Associates, with NRM Consulting (2002) for the Brucknell

Creek catchment off the Hopkins River, near Warrnambool, indicates that at least 90% of the

vegetation has been cleared in the catchment, with less than 20% of the streambanks being fenced. On

the other hand, Amirtharajah (1997) and Amirtharajah & Kearney (1996) provide evidence that many

farmers have planted trees and would be willing to explore the idea of improved shelter and

biodiversity plantings.

The research on improving biodiversity on farms has produced data indicating that wide corridors are

needed for full effectiveness with a wide range of species. Narrow corridors really only allow the

common species to survive. This is an immediate problem when one considers valuable dairy land –

no farmer wants to fence out 25-50 m corridors (the recommended width). It may be possible to

obtain a reasonable width where a stream is involved, taking a 10-20 m strip either side, depending on

the situation. That would also offer advantages in terms of stream protection from pollution.

Combining functions and looking for multiple benefits may be the only way the concept can be

promoted.

In that regard, Robins (2002) details the ways in which riparian strips can provide multiple

values/services that work to the advantage of the farm. These are:

(1) Conserving riparian plants and animals

(2) Using riparian land as wildlife corridors

(3) Maximising the health and diversity of in-stream life

(4) Using riparian land to improve water quality

(5) Protecting stream stability

(6) Using riparian land to improve the productivity of drops and pastures

(7) Using riparian land to provide shade, shelter and feed for livestock

(8) Harvesting non-wood products from riparian land

(9) Harvesting wood products from riparian land

(10) Ecosystem services

The same reasoning - providing multiple benefits, including biodiversity - could apply to vegetated

filter strips for treating effluent or run-off from dairies or feedlots (see Chapter 3). There are

possibilities for providing habitat for a range of birds that frequent wetlands, either for feeding or

refuge.

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Lindenmayer (2002) considers the question of landscape mosaics in conserving biodiversity. Even

remnants of 1-3 ha were important as habitat for a wide range of birds, mammals, reptiles and other

taxa. He emphasises the importance of protecting vegetation along gully lines, both as corridors and

as places for targeting restoration.

As outlined elsewhere (Bird & Kinross 2002d; Bird 2003) it may also be possible for neighbours on

common boundaries to co-operate and provide a greater single width of planted habitat, rather than

planting another narrow belt elsewhere. This would seem to be a preferred option, where neither

farmer feels that they have ‘lost’ too much good land, yet the area provided is actually capable of

supporting many more species.

A number of other actions could assist biodiversity restoration or protection on dairy farms. These

include community arrangements for sharing responsibility for biodiversity with landholders.

Incentives, such as rate rebates that might be paid for by the taxpayer, could partly compensate the

landholder for foregone production associated with setting land aside for biodiversity purposes.

Currently there is no mechanism for this to happen. A Bush Tender trial project is presently being

conducted in north-central and north-east Victoria: this offers landholders the opportunity to be paid

for provision of management services that improve the quality or extent of their native vegetation.

Landholders tender for an amount of payment they require for their services. Covenants are available,

through Trust For Nature, that enable the landholder to place a binding covenant on a particular piece

of land to protect it in the future, should the property be sold.

DPI and Parks, Flora and Fauna have an Ecologically Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (ESAI) with

one project that is focused on riparian zones - “Improved riparian zones and remnant vegetation in

high rainfall intensive grazing systems”. This project aims to document the extent of biodiversity and

management requirements in riparian zones in areas of Victoria, including Warrnambool Plains

bioregion. This project began in 2002, led by DPI staff from Dairy Research Institute, Ellinbank.

Nettle (2002) conducted interviews with agricultural extension staff and sought responses on beliefs,

attitudes, awareness and understanding of biodiversity and threatened species and any conflict with

agriculture. Using 4 categories of interest/awareness: ‘eco-agricultural’, ‘helpful, ‘industry-focussed’

and ‘sceptical’, the percentage in these respective categories was 11, 46, 35 and 8%. The majority

were neutral with respect to biodiversity; while a small percentage regarded it as an impediment to

their work. Most thought profitability was central to achieving sustainability and biodiversity – and

that it had to be sold that way to farmers. Most were uncomfortable with dealing with biodiversity

issues, particularly in trying to put the positive case, when they did not have the information. Most

regarded sustainability as dealing with the natural resource management issues of soil, land and water,

with which they were comfortable. Most thought that there would be no threatened species on

“developed” landscapes and that they would only be an issue on less productive or poorly developed

farms. Some saw the aims of biodiversity and productivity as being incompatible. Recommendations

for change included:

(1) Address needs of extension officers – provide information on benefits of biodiversity to

farmers and information on the species, habitats and regulations etc.

(2) Involve staff in the development of best-practice guidelines across all programs and regions,

emphasising generic farm practices and habitats that are conducive to species protection, and

run workshops at extension staff conferences.

This research has indicated that those who have the best contacts with landholders are either not

equipped to conduct extension in matters of biodiversity or not willing to be distracted from their main

role, which they see as to improve productivity or efficiency in the industry. Clearly, changes need to

be made in the way extension staff is informed, assisted and trained. A good part of the problem is

that too little research information is available to indicate what advantages there might be for

productivity or sustainability. One positive, for the future, might be an increasing emphasis on organic

farming, where a closer relationship between natural biodiversity and productivity might be fostered.

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Selected biodiversity abstracts from literature 1972-2002

[Ackerman EO (2000) Fish kill incidents and stream impairment due to manure application. ASAE

Annual International Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 9-12 July 2000. pp. 1-6; ASAE Paper No.

002058 (American Society of Agricultural Engineers; St Joseph; USA)] - When properly land-applied,

livestock waste is a valuable fertilizer; however, the method of application plays a significant role in

the effect manure will have on surface water quality. This paper examines five recent case studies of

liquid livestock waste application to cropland located west central Illinois, USA, from 1998 to 1999,

involving four swine facilities and one dairy. Four of the five surface applications of liquid livestock

waste resulted in fish kill incidents. Illinois water quality standards were also violated.

[Alard D, Bance JF, Frileux PN (1994) Grassland vegetation as an indicator of the main agroecological

factors in a rural landscape: consequences for biodiversity and wildlife conservation in

central Normandy (France). Journal of Environmental Management 42: 2, 91-109] - Gradients in

moisture and management intensity affected community richness and diversity of grassland species.

The increasing dominance of competitive species characterizing plant communities, which occurred

along both dynamic and nutrient gradients, caused losses in plant richness and biodiversity. Changing

agricultural practices in Normandy have led to both intensification and land abandonment, leading to

loss of habitat. It is suggested that preservation of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems depends on

extensive agricultural management of some grassland areas and on the preservation of some 'nonproductive'

areas for wildlife conservation.

[Altieri MA, Nicholls CI (2002) The simplification of traditional vineyard based agroforests in

northwestern Portugal: some ecological implications. Agroforestry Systems 56(3): 185-191] - In north

western Portugal, peasants have developed complex vineyard (Vitis vinifera) systems comprising

agroforests composed of host trees, vines, annual crops and in some cases animals. Until recently

these vineyards suffered very few pest problems and received relatively low pesticide loads. In the

last few years, new policy and market forces have prompted the conversion of many of these systems

to monoculture thereby decreasing the biodiversity inherent to traditional vineyards. With

accelerating rates of vineyard simplification, insect pest and disease problems may increase due to

lack of habitat and resources for natural enemies or to a concentration of preferred host plants for

specific pathogens and herbivores. Surveys revealed that modernised monoculture vineyards

exhibited lower number of species of predators and parasites and correspondingly higher densities of

two grape herbivores (Lobesia botrana and Empoasca vitis) than diverse vineyard agroforests.

Botrytis bunch rot seemed more prevalent in the monoculture systems, which also received increased

fungicide applications when compared to the traditional vineyards. New vineyard designs may be

more productive, but such gains occur at the expense of biodiversity and agricultural sustainability,

reflected in higher vulnerability to pests.

[Alard D, Bance JF, Frileux PN (1994) Grassland vegetation as an indicator of the main agroecological

factors in a rural landscape: consequences for biodiversity and wildlife conservation in

central Normandy (France). Journal of Environmental Management 42: 2, 91-109] - Changing

agricultural practices in Normandy have led to both intensification and land abandonment, leading to

loss of habitat. It is suggested that preservation of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems depends on

extensive agricultural management of some grassland areas and on the preservation of some 'nonproductive'

areas for wildlife conservation.

[Amirtharajah MS, Kearney GA (1996) 'Glenelg Salinity implementation Survey: a survey of

landholder attitudes, practices and intentions for salinity control in the Glenelg Region, 1995'. Publ.

DNRE, Hamilton] - A random sample (237) farms was taken, with the average size being 601 ha. The

average area of remnant vegetation was 8 ha (0-170 ha), with 8% of farms having none. Some 30%

had fenced off remnants, and 14% planned to do so, but 16% saw no advantage in doing so. Since

1992 an average of 17 ha had been planted with trees on the farms. Only 12% had never planted trees

and 84% had planted since 1990. Some 14% planted for conservation purposes, 23% for land

protection, 14 % for farm forestry and 48% for shade and shelter.

[Amirtharajah MS (1997) 'Corangamite Salinity implementation Survey: a survey of landholder

attitudes, practices and intentions for salinity control in the Glenelg Region, 1997'. Publ. DNRE,

Hamilton.] - A random sample (154) farms was taken, with the average size being 397 ha. Some 4.6%

65


of the average farm was planted with trees, an average of 18 ha per farm. The average area of remnant

vegetation was 7-13 ha, depending on how it was defined, with a range of 1-40 ha. Some 67% of all

farms had nil or only a few trees left in any paddocks, with no other remnants. About 36% of farmers

saw no point in fencing off remnant vegetation. Over 83% had planted since 1990, with an average of

1.3 ha being planted since 1993. Some 14% planted for conservation purposes, 23% for land

protection, 14 % for farm forestry and 48% for shade and shelter.

[Bruinderink GWTAG, Groot-Bruinderink GWTA (1989) The impact of wild geese visiting improved

grasslands in the Netherlands. Journal of Applied Ecology 26: 1, 131-146] - The number of migratory

geese spending winter and early spring in the Netherlands increased from 100 000 in the early 1960s

to almost 600 000 in the 1983-84 winter. The most common geese species were Anser albifrons, A.

anser, A. fabalis, A. brachyrhynchus, Branta leucopsis and B. bernicla. Their increase was

accompanied by a growing number of complaints by dairy farmers about yield losses and deterioration

of their swards. The yearly amount paid by the Dutch government to protect the geese and

compensate farmers rose from £1500 in 1974 to £450 000 in 1984. In order to establish an objective

method for the assessment of damage, a combination of grazing, treading and defecating by wild geese

on Lolium swards was studied in the province of Friesland. Grazing by wild geese on improved

grasslands in winter and early spring resulted in DM yield losses at first cut or grazing of 335-1100

kg/ha depending on grazing pressure, time of grazing and productivity of the sward. There were no

yield losses after the first cut. There were no significant effects of goose grazing on the number of

plant species in a sward nor on the number of tillers/dm2 per plant species. The significant increase in

net energy value of spring pasture as a result of goose grazing did not compensate for the loss of

herbage production. Defecating and treading by wild geese had no demonstrable effect on chemical or

physical soil characteristics such as N, P, and K contents of the upper soil layer, water conductivity

and compaction. Since the retardation of growth of grass in spring resulting from goose grazing

usually takes place on paddocks that are mown instead of being grazed by livestock, it is discussed

whether a farmer could counteract the effects of goose grazing by means of small adaptations in the

grassland utilization scheme.

[Buchgraber K (1995) Austria needs the meadows, the pastures, the livestock and its farmers.

Forderungsdienst 43: 11, SB1-SB8 (Sonderbeilage zum Thema Grunland)] - Of Austria's 2.1 M ha of

largely mountain and hill pasture and grassland some 10 ha per day is being left to revert to nature or

afforested. Some 50.6% of the area which is grazed or cropped only once is considered to be an

exceptional habitat for a wide variety of, sometimes rare, flora and fauna and the remainder, slightly

more intensively utilized, still has at least an average range of flora and fauna. Cattle, sheep and goats

provide the cheapest and best method of maintaining the landscape and ecological advantages of these

areas and the grassland cover is important in preventing erosion and in conservation in water

catchment areas. It is nevertheless very difficult for grassland farmers to obtain an adequate income,

particularly if they are dependent on meat rather than dairy production. There is an urgent need for

policies that will help to keep such farmers on the land.

[CRC (1985) Landscape and wildlife conservation on farms. A further study. (Cobham Resource

Consultants, Oxford; UK, OAE), 162pp.] - This report describes a continuing study of landscape and

wildlife conservation on farms in the east of Scotland. Three farms were selected for study:

Bishopbrae, West Lothian, a 72 ha dairy farm; Dunbog, Fife, a 387 ha farm with a suckler herd of 110

cows and an arable enterprise of vegetables and cereals; and Meikle Obney, Perthshire, a 720 ha hill

farm with 700 sheep. For each the farming regime is described and a landscape and ecological survey

carried out. Using this information a conservation plan based on several proposals is formulated for

each of the three farms and presented to the farmers. The majority of conservation proposals were

acceptable to the farmers and encouraging evidence emerged that much can be achieved for landscape

and wildlife conservation given the provision of an advisory service.

[Christensen P (1980) Reconciling modern farming with nature. Chartered Surveyor 113: 1, 50-51] -

The article describes co-operation with the Nature Conservancy by a 700 acre dairy farm in

Oxfordshire, which has now become one of the Conservancy's first demonstration farms, to show how

modern farming methods can be compatible with nature conservancy. The farm is an intensive

livestock unit with a milk herd of 320 cows and their followers as well as a beef unit of 200 head.

Beginning from the premise that the farm's first priority is to make a profit, and after consultation with

various conservation interests, the farm has embarked on a multi-purpose plan which includes

66


measures such as tree planting, double fencing, cleaning out ponds, pollarding, hedgerow fencing and

leaving certain areas as untouched. In each case low cost, maximum-effect solutions have been sought

[Clausman PHMA, Melman TCP (1991) Instruments for combining intensive dairy farming and

nature conservation in the Netherlands. Landscape and Urban Planning 20: 1/3, 205-210, BLDSC] -

The coexistence of intensive dairy farming and important nature values in the peat polder district in

the Netherlands is highly appreciated but the increasing agricultural pressure is disturbing the

equilibrium between farmer and nature. Government as well as private organizations for nature

conservation are looking for possibilities to preserve this equilibrium. Existing and possible new

instruments include nature reserves, management agreements, payment for nature 'production',

voluntary management adaptations and ditch-bank vegetation. The instruments are divided into those

that need a permanent external financial incentive and those that can do without such stimuli.

[Denny GO, Wilesmith JW (1999) Bovine tuberculosis in Northern Ireland: a case-control study of

herd risk factors. Veterinary Record 144: 12, 305-310] - This paper presents the results of the first

formal epidemiological study in Northern Ireland of risk factors for bovine tuberculosis (TB)

associated with farm boundaries, neighbours and wildlife. The study was designed as a case-control

study and 427 dairy herds were investigated between December 1993 and January 1995. The results

highlighted 2 main associations with TB breakdowns, the presence of badgers and neighbours who

had had confirmed TB breakdowns. The estimated aetiological fraction for both associations was

_40%, suggesting that although infected cattle may have a significant role in the transmission of TB

their importance relative to the badger may have been over-estimated in the Northern Ireland TB

scheme. The contribution of the badger is possibly one of several main reasons for the lack of

significant progress in TB eradication despite strenuous efforts associated with all aspects of the

scheme.

[DNRE (2001) Freshwater ecosystems: biodiversity management issues. A loose-leaf folder kit

{copies Corporate, GMW lib.}] – Top ten issues for freshwater ecosystems: changes to natural flow

patterns, changes to temperature patterns, changes to riparian vegetation, sedimentation of rivers and

streams, toxic materials, increased salinity, removal of woody debris, changes to river channels,

instream barriers, introducing fish outside their natural range.

[Frame J, Fisher GEJ, Tiley GED, Haggar RJ (ed.), Peel S (1994) Wildflowers in grassland systems.

Grassland management and nature conservation: Proc. of a joint meeting between the British

Grassland Society and the British Ecological Society held at Leeds University 27-29 September 1993.

Proc. British Grassland Society pp. 104-114] - A 3-year series of experiments were run on a freely to

imperfectly drained, acidic sandy loam soil, from 1987. In experiment 1 ten seed mixtures containing

wild flowers, forage legumes and grasses were sown and managed for hay and silage production.

Experiment 2 evaluated the performance and persistency of 9 wild flowers with different companion

grasses. The third experiment looked at simple wild flower/grass mixtures cut for hay with no

fertilizer applications. In this experiment wild flowers made a substantial contribution to herbage

production. Experiment 5 evaluated the suitability of grass species for sowing in a wild flower

mixture. Ten grass species were sown singly with the same flower mix and cut for hay with early bite

and aftermath grazing. The sixth experiment examined the effect of 16 different defoliation regimes

on a grass/wild flower mix. Finally, wild flower swards were evaluated under commercial conditions.

Treatments included slurry application, 1- or 2-cut forage conservation and grazing before cutting.

The small plot experiments showed that many wild flower species have some agricultural potential

and that the use of simpler seed mixtures with locally adapted species is advisable. Persistence of, and

production from, wild flowers was highest with infrequent cutting regimes. Viable animal production

systems are attainable but in this example of commercial dairy youngstock rearing, high protein/high

energy concentrates had to be provided as well as wildflower hay/silage.

[Harms WB, Nakagoshi N (ed.), Xiao DuNing (ed.), Fu BoJie (ed.), Godron M (1998) Landscape

fragmentation by urbanization in the Netherlands: options and ecological consequences. The principle

and application of landscape ecology: selected papers from International conference on landscape

ecology of Asia and Pacific region, Shenyang, China, 5-7 October 1998. Journal of Environmental

Sciences 11: 2, 141-148] - In the western part of the Netherlands there is significant pressure to extend

urban activities. As a result a large open peatland area of special ecological interest (the so called

green heart) is being threatened by urbanization. Dairy farming predominates in the area and the

67


ecological value is largely dependant on this land use (meadow birds). Scenarios for future landscapes

have been developed for a selection of different urbanization processes. The consequences for nature

were evaluated using a decision support system: the LEDESS (landscape ecological-decision support

system) links available landscape ecological knowledge to a geographical information system (GIS) to

evaluate the scenarios. LEDESS is based on a deterministic concept of the ecotype dependent on

physiotype, vegetation dynamics, target vegetation and management, and of faunal habitat

requirements that are also dependent on vegetation structure. Results indicate that urbanization will

have a negative effect on the existing fragmented landscape. Different options for nature restoration

are suggested for each urbanization scenario.

[Harvey CA, Haber WA (1988-99) Remnant trees and the conservation of biodiversity in Costa Rican

pastures. Agroforestry Systems 44: 1, 37-68] - Remnant trees may play an important role in

conserving biodiversity within agricultural systems because they provide habitats and resources that

are otherwise absent from agricultural landscapes. Primary forest trees accounted for 57% of all of the

species and 33% of individuals on the 24 dairy farms surveyed. Over 90% of the species provide food

for forest birds and other animals. In addition, many of the species are important locally for humans

as sources of timber (37%), firewood (36%) or fence posts (20%). Farmers mentioned 19 reasons for

leaving trees in pastures. Of these, shade for cattle, timber, fruits for birds and fence posts were most

commonly cited. Most farmers were well aware of both the economic and ecological benefits of

pasture trees, and were interested in the possibility of increasing tree cover within their pastures.

Although the current densities and richness of pasture trees in Monteverde are high, the size

distribution indicates that diversity will decrease substantially in the future, both because farmers are

harvesting trees and because saplings of primary forest trees are scarce within the pastures.

[Harvey CA (2000) Windbreaks enhance seed dispersal into agricultural landscapes in Monteverde,

Costa Rica. Ecological Applications 10: 1, 155-173] - Planting windbreaks on degraded tropical lands

may accelerate natural successional processes by attracting seed-dispersing animals and increasing the

seed rain of forest plants. I examined the effects of planted windbreaks on seed deposition patterns in

dairy farms in Monteverde, Costa Rica, by comparing annual seed rain patterns in wind-breaks and

adjacent pastures. I also examined the effects of windbreak connectivity and remnant trees on seed

rain patterns. Traps placed in 19 windbreaks and in seven pastures collected more than 3 million seeds

(of 199 species) during the year-long study. Windbreaks received significantly greater densities and

species richness of seeds of tree and shrub species than pastures. Bird-dispersed seeds occurred in

greater densities and species numbers in windbreaks than in pastures; in contrast, the seed rain of batdispersed

seeds did not differ between windbreak and pasture habitats. Windbreak connectivity had

no detectable effect on seed dispersal patterns, whereas the presence of remnant trees increased the

number of tree species but not the density of tree seeds. This study suggests that windbreaks can

dramatically increase the deposition of tree and shrub seeds within the agricultural landscape, and that

the location of windbreaks within the landscape may be important in determining seed deposition

patterns.

[Hermans C, Vereijken P (1992) Integration of animal husbandry and nature conservation on grassland

farms. Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Science 40: 3, 301-314] - A farming model for peat

grassland has been designed as an instrument in physical planning, integrating nature conservation and

animal husbandry by combining the conditions for existence of both. It includes a subdivision of the

farm in production grassland and nature grassland, such as marsh marigold hayfield and blue

grassland. Each type of grassland has a suitable combination of groundwater level, P- and N-

controlled animal and plant production, and a regime of mowing and grazing depending on its function

for flora, fauna and animal husbandry. Sixteen variants, differing in type of activity (dairy, suckler,

sheep and cross-bred husbandry) and type of grassland, all single or in combination, are quantified.

The initial results of modelling show that the integrated model offers various perspectives for physical

planning aimed at integration of agriculture, nature and outdoor recreation. It concerns areas where

production grassland has to be converted completely into nature grassland as part of the National

Ecological Network, as well as areas where production grassland is partly to be maintained to serve

dairy husbandry.

[Jobin B, desGranges JL, Boutin C (1995) Population trends in selected species of farmland birds in

relation to recent developments in agriculture in the St. Lawrence Valley. Agriculture, Ecosystems

and Environment 57: 2-3, 103-116] - Changes in the populations of 28 species of birds typical of

68


farmland habitats were assessed using data from seven Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes surveyed

in southern Quebec over the last 25 years. Aerial photographs taken in the 1960s and 1980s covering

82 stops along these routes were interpreted to evaluate changes in the rural landscape. Based on the

crops grown at these stops in 1992, four types of agricultural landscapes were identified: cash crops,

forage crops and pastureland, crops and livestock raising, and heterogeneous landscape. An intensive

bird census of these stops in June 1992 showed that species richness and abundance are greater at

stops with a heterogeneous landscape than at those characterized mainly by cash crops. Cash crops

(maize, wheat, soyabeans) now cover more surface area than in the 1960s, whereas numerous dairy

farms have disappeared over the past 25 years because of abandonment, urbanization and

industrialization. These changes in the crops grown in the most productive agricultural regions of

Quebec appear to be responsible for fluctuations in populations of a number of farmland species in the

St. Lawrence Lowland. Many species associated with dairy farming, such as the Savannah Sparrow,

Bobolink, Brown-headed Cowbird and Eastern Meadow Lark, show decreasing population abundance,

while other species such as the Ring-billed Gull and Rock Dove appear to be benefiting from the

introduction of intensive agriculture.

[Law BS, Anderson J(2000) Roost preferences and foraging ranges of the eastern forest bat

Vespadelus pumilus under two disturbance histories in northern New South Wales, Australia. Austral

Ecology 25: 4, 352-367] - Lorne Flora Reserve (182 ha) is primarily old-growth forest surrounded by

regrowth forest and eucalypt plantations, while Swans Crossing is dominated by regrowth and

eucalypt plantations established on part of an old dairy farm. Bats at Lorne Flora Reserve typically

roosted in hollows within large, mature trees and showed a strong preference for roosting and foraging

(females only) within the reserve. Lactating females at Swans Crossing roosted in hollows of remnant

rain forest trees within a gully and dead eucalypts, while males often roosted in understorey trees

(such as Acacia). Dead trees were frequently used as roosts at both sites. Under both disturbance

histories, the mean distance of female maternity roosts from creeks was 20 m, indicating that riparian

zones provide important roosting habitat for V. pumilus. However, roosts shifted to the mid-slope prior

to winter when bats mate. Retention of mature trees in a variety of topographic locations may allow

behavioural adjustments with the seasons. Bats caught in the regrowth forest also foraged there, with

foraging ranges averaging just 5.3 ha, indicating that regrowth is used by this bat for both foraging and

roosting.

[le Cœur D, Baudry J, Burel F, Thenail C, Marshall EJP (1999) Why and how we should study field

boundary biodiversity in an agrarian landscape context. The ecology of field margins in European

farming systems. Selected papers from the workshop at the EURECO'99 Conference, Halkidiki,

Greece, September 1999. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 89: 1-2, 23-40] - Field boundaries

are generally considered as important semi-natural environments in agrarian landscapes. The aim of

this paper is to provide a methodological framework towards a holistic approach for field boundary

studies. First, an overview of the successive milestones that have been passed in the history of

hedgerow studies is given. These are classified a posteriori and then related to the succession of

dominant ecological paradigms. Secondly, we show how former results have been used and integrated

into a multiple scale approach involving agronomic and ecological studies in hedgerow network

landscapes of western France. The hypothesis is that the main determinants of hedgerow biodiversity

are related to farming activities. This hypothesis has been tested in three hedgerow network

landscapes differing in their density of hedgerows and their relative abundance of grassland versus

crops. The dominant agriculture of the region is dairy production, utilizing grassland, maize and

cereals. We focus on plant biodiversity and relate it to farming activities described from the boundary

up to the landscape. The results show that the composition of the plant assemblages of the herb layer

of field boundaries depends upon complex interactions between local structure, herb layer

management, field use, farm types and landscape structure. The latter factors are related to the

diversity of farming systems. Finally, the advantages of such an approach in terms of fundamental and

applied landscape management aspects are discussed, showing how our framework of hedgerow

studies expands by successive incorporation, rather than by rejection of former approaches. The main

lesson is that it is necessary to capitalize on closer collaboration between ecologists and agronomists

in order to stimulate future development of field boundary management and planning.

[Lindenmayer DB (2002) Plantation design and biodiversity conservation. RIRDC Publication No.

02/019] – This publication looks at work based on plantations in NSW at Tumut (‘Tumut

Fragmentation Experiment’) and Jugiong (a grazed woodland - ‘Nanangroe Landscape Experiment’).

69


Some of the key strategies were: (1) retain native remnants within the plantations – even remnants as

small as 0.5 were important and such plantation landscapes supported more native taxa (birds, reptiles,

frogs and mammals) than monocultures; (2) Protect native vegetation along gullies to provide links;

(3) Control weed invasion (e.g. feral pines and blackberries) within the remnants; (4) replace isolated

trees that are removed for plantation development by restoration along gully lines or adjacent to other

remnants; (5) aim for 30% or more of the plantation area to contain remnants or restored native

vegetation; (6) prohibit firewood collection or culling of trees in the remnant patches; (7) restrict

grazing for at least 5 years in the remnants, to allow regeneration.

[Malecki RA, Sullivan JD (1987) Assessment of an agricultural drainage improvement program in

New York State. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 42: 4, 271-274] - Dairy and cash-crop

farming operations have benefited through increased crop yields and acreage under cultivation.

Further expansion of on-farm drainage systems is expected. Alterations in the natural environment

directly affect stream channels, cause a loss of wetland and riparian habitat through a lowering of the

water table, and reduce habitat diversity. A balanced approach in the design of land drainage systems

is needed. Water drainage from agricultural land in New York is being enhanced by outlet projects

sponsored by local conservation districts.

[Matthysse JG (1974) Insecticides used on dairy cattle and in dairy barns: toxicity to man and cattle,

hazards to the consumer and the environment. Journal of Milk and Food Technology 37: 5, 255-264] -

This review includes a list of insecticides currently used in the United States to control pests of dairy

cattle. Dimethoate, fenthion, fenchlorphos (ronnel) and tetrachlorvinphos (Rabon) are applied as

residual sprays for fly control in dairy barns; pyrethrins, dichlorvos, crotoxyphos and naled, and also

the synergists piperonyl butoxide and MGK 264 [N-(2-ethylhexyl)bicyclo[2,2,1]-5-heptene-2,3-

dicarboximide] and the repellent MGK 326 [dipropyl 2,5-pyridinedicarboxylate] are applied as space

sprays or directly to cattle for control of flies, lice and mites; synergised pyrethrins and dichlorvos in

plastic strips are used for fly control in milk rooms; fenchlorphos, tetrachlorvinphos, dichlorvos,

crotoxyphos and coumaphos are used in dust bags and back-rubbers for protection against flies and

lice; p,p'methoxy-DDT (methoxychlor), malathion, crufomate, trichlorphon, famphur [O,O-dimethyl

O-p-dimethylsulphamoylphenyl phosphorothioate], fenthion, fenchlorphos, dichlorvos, crotoxyphos,

coumaphos and pyrethrins are applied to non-lactating cows, heifers and calves for protection against

flies, lice and cattle grubs [Hypoderma]; and dichlorvos, naled, malathion, trichlorphon and diazinon

are used in fly baits. The toxicity of each compound to rats, cattle and calves is shown, together with

its rate of natural degradation and the prescribed tolerance limit in milk. Evidence is reviewed

showing that the use of these compounds presents little hazard to cattle, dairymen, consumers, fish and

wildlife and the environment. Various insecticides used in dairy farming, mainly organophosphorus

compounds, are discussed with reference to the following: their toxicity to cattle, laboratory rats, birds,

fish and wildlife; their degradation time; their tolerance in milk; and the hazard to dairy produce

consumers. Only small amounts of these insecticides enter soil and water following proper use on

dairy farms, and all have short half-lives. Degradation products are discussed, and their low hazard in

environmental contamination is noted. Insecticides that should not be used in dairy farming include

DDT, lindane and parathion.

[Molyneux DH, Ross J, Lainson R, Smith CEG, Barnes AM, Jones DM, Edwards MA (ed.),

McDonnell U (ed.). (1982) Animal disease in relation to animal conservation. Proc. Symposia of the

Zoological Society of London, No.50, xviii + 336 pp. (Pub. Academic Press; London; UK)] - The

main theme of the meeting was of infection and disease of domesticated food-producing animals and

their effect on wildlife conservation. The subjects include some of great economic importance to

agriculture such as rinderpest and trypanosomiasis, and some of much importance to human medicine

such as animal and bird carriers of human influenza, trichinelliasis and bubonic plague. Plowright

demonstrates convincingly how vaccination of cattle against rinderpest protects the wildlife

population, but elsewhere in the symposium doubts very much if wildlife populations escape disease

epidemics from time to time. Finally to the badger where once again the establishment seems to have

won without much opposition. No one seems to have heard of the red lechwe and bovine tuberculosis

in Zambia or to suggest even for the sake of disputation that in the face of an enormous surplus of milk

it might be worthwhile removing dairy cattle from badger territory!

[Nettle R (2002) Agricultural extension and threatened species. The issues and opportunities: findings

from interviews with NRE extension staff. Research report produced by Ruth Nettle Consulting,

70


commissioned by Ecologically Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, Threatened Species Project, NRE,

Victoria. 64 pp.] – This report examined beliefs, attitudes, awareness and understanding of

biodiversity and threatened species among NRE’s agricultural extension staff in various industries,

including dairying. Using 4 categories of interest/awareness: ‘eco-agricultural’, ‘helpful, ‘industryfocussed’

and ‘sceptical’, the percentage who were in these respective categories was 11, 46, 35 an

8%. The majority were neutral with respect to biodiversity; while a small percentage regarded it as a

positive impediment to their work. Most thought profitability was central to achieving sustainability

and biodiversity – and that it had to be sold that way to farmers. Most regarded sustainability as

dealing with the natural resource management issues of soil, land and water, with which they were

comfortable. Most thought that there would be no threatened species on “developed” landscapes and

that they would only be an issue on less productive or poorly developed farms. Recommendations for

change were: (1) Address needs of extension officers – provide information on benefits of biodiversity

to farmers and information on the species, habitats and regulations etc. (2) Involve staff in the

development of best-practice guidelines across all programs and regions, emphasising generic farm

practices and habitats that are conducive to species protection, and run workshops at extension staff

conferences.

[Nyeko P, Edwards-Jones G, Day RK (2002) Population dynamics of herbivorous insects and

potential arthropod natural enemies on Alnus species in Kabale district, Uganda. Agroforestry Systems

56(3): 213-224] - Spiders were the predominant natural enemies accounting for 64% of the total

natural enemies encountered, followed by parasitic Hymenoptera (30%).

[Patton DLH, Frame J (1981) The effect of grazing in winter by wild geese on improved grassland in

west Scotland. Journal of Applied Ecology 18: 1, 311-325] - Experiments were conducted over the

winter periods of 1974-5 and 1975-6 to determine the loss of herbage production from improved

grassland due to grazing by wild immigrant geese. Isle of Islay, Inner Hebrides, grazed by barnacle

geese (Branta leucopsis) and one near Castle Douglas, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, grazed by greylag

geese (Anser anser). On Islay, the potential max. loss of herbage available for spring grazing averaged

1.31 t DM/ha, representing c. 80 cow-grazing days/ha; at Castle Douglas the corresponding loss of

herbage averaged 1.51 t DM/ha, representing c. 90 cow-grazing days/ha. Equivalent loss of herbage in

silage terms represented an av. of 9 t/ha for Castle Douglas; such quantities represent the silage part of

a dairy cow's winter diet. A study of gizzard contents from 20 geese indicated a preference for sown

Lolium spp. as opposed to indigenous grass spp. Future management policies for wild geese include

control of numbers in the Islay situation and dispersal of geese and the establishment of refuges in the

mainland situation

[Plantureux S, Muller S (1996) Biodiversity, soil type and management intensity of permanent

pastures of the Lorraine plateau. Biodiversity and management of grassland ecosystems, Metz, France,

8-10 June 1995. Acta Botanica Gallica 143: 4-5, 339-348] - Biodiversity was studied in 98 permanent

pastures on dairy farms on the Lorraine plateau, NE France. At each site the number of species and

the Shannon Index, calculated on the basis of species frequency, were recorded. Whereas both

parameters were reduced by increasing rates of mineral fertilizers and by increasing frequency of

cutting or grazing, species number was also affected by soil type, particularly nutrient status. Shannon

Index was affected most by duration of the growth period

[Robins L (2002) Managing riparian land for multiple uses. RIRDC Publication No. 02/103] – this

review examines the multiple benefits that can accrue from establishing and managing riparian strips.

There are chapters on Values of riparian land, Looking at riparian land management within the

catchment context, Managing for multiple objectives. The 10 management objectives outlined are:

(1) Conserving riparian plants and animals (2) Using riparian land as wildlife corridors (3) maximising

the health and diversity of in-stream life (4)Using riparian land to improve water quality (5) Protecting

stream stability (6)Using riparian land to improve the productivity of drops and pastures (7) Using

riparian land to provide shade, shelter and feed for livestock (8) Harvesting non-wood products from

riparian land (9) Harvesting wood products from riparian land (10) Ecosystem services.

[Schmidtmann ET, Schlater JL, Maupin GO, Mertins JW (1998) Vegetational associations of hostseeking

adult blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), on dairy farms in North

western Wisconsin. Journal of Dairy Science 81: 3, 718-721] – A risk of exposure to Lyme disease is

caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, therefore the distribution of host-seeking adults of I. scapularis was

71


studied on dairy farms in Wisconsin. Ticks were associated with woods and secondary vegetation or

margins of pastures adjacent to woodlands. Ticks were most prevalent and numerous in ungrazed

woodlands, particularly on farms where evidence of white-tailed deer was apparent. The risk of

encountering adult I. scapularis on dairy farms in Barron County, Wisconsin, is therefore greatest in

woodland habitat.

[Stern K (1990) Effect of large area land cultivation in the GDR on flora, fauna and soil.

Osteuropastudien der Hochschulen des Landes Hessen. Reihe 1, Giessener Abhandlungen zur Agrar

und Wirtschaftsforschung des Europaischen Ostens No. 174, 298pp. (Berlin, German Federal

Republic; Duncker & Humblot)] - Under GDR communist theory, large-scale farms were introduced

with fields which by the 1970s were as large as 400 ha. Problems of labour productivity, soil and

nature conservation later caused them to be reduced to 40-80 ha. Under specialization theory crop and

livestock farming were strictly separated with livestock farming in units of up to 4000 dairy cows and

over 200 000 pigs. This has caused severe ecological problems, with certain regions suffering from a

negative humus balance while disposal of animal manures has caused eutrophication of soil and

ground water in others. Although efforts were made to counteract these problems through local

cooperative councils arranging exchanges between crop and livestock farms and by plantings of trees

and hedges, the need to increase yields and production led to increasing use of fertilizers and

agricultural chemicals and of heavy machinery. All this has had a negative effect on the variety of

natural flora and fauna as well as on soil quality. Generally the best solution to all these problems is

likely to be the development of a more extensive farming system with much reduced applications of

pesticides. On the other hand problems of large-scale fields and livestock farms will only be solved

through changes in underlying agricultural policies, though this does not mean that Western standards

should necessarily be introduced without critical discussion.

[Thompson RD, Elias DJ, Mitchell GC (1977) Effects of vampire bat control on bovine milk

production. Journal of Wildlife Management 41: 4, 736-739] - Milk yield and blood indicators were

measured in 58 cows from a dairy herd near Quito, Ecuador, and in 28 cows near Managua,

Nicaragua, before and after vampire bat parasitism (averaging 2-4 fresh bites/cow nightly) was

reduced 97-100% by systemic treatment of the cattle. After vampire control, blood packed cell vol.

increased (P


whether a lower cleaning frequency was compatible with modern farming and proper water

management. This proved to be the case in many situations. In some situations both nature and

farmer could even benefit from a lower ditch cleaning frequency.

[van Langevelde F, Schotman A, Claassen F, Sparenburg G, van Langevelde F, Brandt J (2000)

Competing land use in the reserve site selection problem. Agricultural landscapes. Landscape-

Ecology 15: 3, 243-256] - The objective of this paper is to present an approach that addresses

competing land uses in the nature reserve site selection problem. This approach is implemented in a

spatial optimization model for conservation planning in human-dominated landscapes: MENTOR.

This model allocates new sites as stepping stones between existing sites. We illustrated the model by a

case with competition for space between wildlife habitat and agriculture as it occurs in the

Netherlands. We focussed on deciduous forests with the European nuthatch Sitta europaea as an

umbrella (focal) species for forest birds. Suitability maps for deciduous forests and for agriculture

were applied as input for the allocation model. Effects on the landscape pattern, nuthatch populations,

bird species richness and dairy farming were described. We can conclude that the application of

MENTOR leads to an effective reserve network in De Leijen concerning the suitability of the land for

dairy farming. The results show a doubling of the average proportion of occupied habitat, an increase

in colonization probability of patches, a decrease in extinction probability of local populations, and an

increase in bird species richness per patch at the expense of a relatively small reduction in land

currently used by agriculture.

[van Langevelde F (1999) Habitat connectivity and fragmented nuthatch populations in agricultural

landscapes. PhD thesis, 205 pp (Wageningen Agricultural University, Netherlands)] - The thesis

studies the effects of habitat fragmentation at population and individual levels (in particular the effects

of habitat connectivity on colonization and habitat selection), and the opportunities to mitigate these

effects by planning ecological networks, in the rural area of the Pleistocene sandy regions of the

Netherlands. These areas are predominantly agricultural landscapes (especially dairy farming), and

the majority of large and small natural areas within them are forest fragments and hedgerows. The

wooded area in the region has decreased and the remaining areas are relatively small, disjunct and

sharp bounded. They contain many species (both within and at the borders), but the farmland between

them may both offer a poor food supply and act as a barrier to movement. Three main questions were

addressed in the thesis: (1) which variables can be used to measure the degree of connectivity of

habitat patches, and whether differences in connectivity are related to patch colonization probability -

this involved modelling habitat patches (forest fragments) and the distances between them as

networks, using the nuthatch (Sitta europaea) as an example; (2) whether habitat selection is limited in

landscapes with fragmented habitat - an investigation of the effects of degree of habitat connectivity

on territorial selection by nuthatches; and (3) the optimal allocation of networks of patches within the

agricultural landscape to allow for nuthatch population sustainability and land suitability for

competing uses - this involved the development of 2 spatial allocation models (MENTOR and

ENLARGE) to plan new or enlarged habitat.

[van Strien AJ, De Heiden JLH, Melman CP (1988) Extensification of dairy farming and floristic

richness of peat grassland. Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Science 36: 4, 339-355] - A

comparative study of floristic richness of 125 permanent peat grasslands was made in 1983-84 across

Zuid-Holland and Utrecht provinces. Three different parameters of floristic richness were used: the

number of species, the number of those species that contribute to the conservational value (quality

indicating species) and a 'nature value' index that combines species richness with rarity of species. N

supply (0-600 kg N/ha per year) was the most important factor determining number of qualityindicating

species. Additional factors were peat mud dressing and soil type. Utilization of grassland

(whether frequently cut or continuously grazed), ground water table level, pH, P and K contents of the

topsoil and type of animal manure had no effect on floristic richness. At levels below 200 kg N/ha per

year, a considerable number of species of conservational value (e.g. Lychnis flos-cuculi and Carex

nigra) became abundant. The significance of the results for nature conservation with regard to current

agricultural practice is discussed.

[von Boberfeld WO (1989) Principles of nature conservation on grassland with regard to the botanical

aspect. Zeitschrift fur Kulturtechnik und Landentwicklung 30: 2, 92-104] - It is noted that

conservation programmes are often aimed at preserving sub-climax rather than climax vegetation and

that the sub-climax vegetation is more susceptible to environmental disruption. The need is stressed

73


for considering both the vegetation and the herbivores which depend on it when any intervention in the

ecosystem is planned. In the German Federal Republic up to 35 grassland species are considered to be

in danger of extinction. These species belong to the order Molinietalia (wet meadows), the alliance

Elymo-Rumicion (waterlogged swards) and the classes Festuco-Brometea, Nardo-Callunetea,

Scheuchzerio-Caricetea and Pharagmitetea, but not to the Arrenatheretalia, therefore conservation

measures directed at sites of the latter type are relatively ineffective. Depending on the plant

associations to be promoted, irrigation of land which has reverted to scrub or woodland could be

effective. The need to consider the effect of conservation measures on the suitability of the land for

dairy cattle grazing (toxicological characteristics and energy concn) is discussed.

[White NA (1999) Ecology of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) in rural south-east Queensland,

Australia. Wildlife Research 26: 6, 731-744] - Koalas were not reliant on corridor systems and

sometimes moved further than 5 km in a season. The animals have few non-food-related

requirements, i.e. they do not need den sites, nest sites, display areas, etc. Furthermore, they do not

utilize the understorey and their mobility between patches does not appear to be compromised by the

absence of corridors of trees. It is suggested that in comparison with other arboreal marsupials, it

should be relatively easy to provide habitat for koalas within rural areas.

[Wilson GA (1992) A survey on attitudes of landholders to native forest on farmland. Journal of

Environmental Management 34: 2, 117-136] - The results are presented of a questionnaire survey of

attitudes of 189 private landowners (79% response rate) to remnants of native forest on farmland in the

Catlins District in the southeast of South Island, New Zealand. The indigenous mixed podocarphardwood

forests (including the Catlins Forest Park) contain some of the last stands of lowland

podocarp forest on the east coast, while the northeast parts of the forest consist of pure stands of silver

beech (Nothofagus menziesii; the southernmost occurrence in New Zealand). Peak deforestation took

place in the late 1950s, with an economic change from small dairy farms to large-scale sheep farming

and amalgamation of small holdings into larger units. The results confirm the initial hypothesis that

people in rural settings have a practical, utilitarian attitude to remnants of natural ecosystems, as

evident in explanations for the present existence of forest remnants on farmland. There was evidence

of changing attitudes, and future large-scale removal of native forest on farmland in the Catlins is

considered unlikely.

74


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82


Chapter 3.

Water quality

Introduction

Nutrient enrichment of surface waters contributes to the increasing incidence of cyanobacteria blooms

and other less noxious blooms of algal species in SE Australia, and reduces the oxygen-carrying

capacity of the water, so that in-stream biota are also diminished in numbers and species (EPA 1995).

Pollution from nitrate, phosphate and faecal bacteria constitute the main areas of concern – with

effects on the environment and human health the outcome. Impacts on biodiversity are dealt with in

Chapter 2 of this review.

Dairy farming in the 3 major dairy regions in Victoria is currently based on year-round pasture

grazing, with some fodder and grain crops, a relatively low-cost system of production. Irrigation is

used in the northern region of Victoria over the summer months to sustain production from pastures.

Some irrigation from groundwater also occurs in the SW area. Peak production occurs in

October/November and a trough in May-June-July. There is an increasing trend towards more

intensive production systems, with more grain being fed (AD 2000). While feedlot-based systems are

presently uncommon, there are at least 2 now established in the SW region that have cow numbers

around 1200-1400. The numbers of dairy farms has been slowly declining over the past 30 years

while total production has been increasing, as a result of greater production per cow and greater

numbers of cows (AD 2000).

The push for greater production – involving more heavy application of fertilisers and greater imports

of feedstuffs, will result in greater percolation of nutrients to the deep groundwater and run-off of

nutrients into streams and groundwater (Brown 1998). Thus, it was estimated that 27% of the P and

12% of N leaving the Goulbourn-Broken Catchment was from irrigation drainage– some 5.2 kg/ha of

P and 13.1 kg/ha of N during the irrigation season (WQWG 1995). This run-off is a contributing

factor to the increased incidence of algal blooms observed in streams and lakes (Anon. 1995). An

increased recharge also results in increased soil salinity in the irrigation areas (Brown 1998). Surface

run-off from rain-fed systems is considerably less than from irrigated pastures, possibly 1-5% of

annual rainfall (Greenhill et al. 1983; Nash & Murdoch 1997), but depending upon soil type,

vegetation and other factors.

Effective application of best management practices (BMPs) regarding effluent management, fertiliser

application and other farming practices is the first step to reduce outflow of nutrients to streams.

The next step in relation to water quality and in-stream biodiversity is the need to fence streams from

stock. The trampling effect alone releases nutrients from the soil and sediments into the streams, often

a major source of P. Providing a grass and treed filter strip along the fenced riparian verge is the

simplest and most cost-effective action that can be taken to reduce the passage of P and N into the

stream, thereby improving water quality and biodiversity in the stream (Lovett & Price 1999; Prosser

& Karssies 2001; Robins 2002).

The issue of impact of the dairy industry on stream and groundwater quality, and biodiversity, will

become more apparent in Australia as intensification of the dairy industry continues. The major

problem will be disposal of effluent from very large dairies that import most of the feedstuffs from

other regions. The following discussion will point out the problems other countries have faced - and

the solutions that have been (in some cases) imposed upon the industry.

83


Water quality in streams & ground – a review of world literature 1972-2002

Schofield et al. (1989) found a substantial impact of intensive dairy farming activities on river quality:

the Eastern Cleddau of Wales. Discharges from farmyards were a major source of pollution. Rainfall

exacerbates this effect either through field run-off or wastes washing directly from the farmyards. The

status of benthic macro-invertebrate communities in these tributaries was poor and only a few

pollution-tolerant species were present.

Inorganic nitrogenous fertilizers and concentrate feeds have significantly contributed to the increase of

forage and ruminant production in Western Europe (van der Meer et al. 1995). However, there is

increasing concern about nutrient losses to the environment and European legislation to reduce

nutrient losses from livestock farms has been introduced. Dutch regulations on the rate, timing, and

technique of slurry application improved the utilization of slurry N and reduced losses, but a reduction

of the total rate of N application and N fertilizer was still required (van der Meer et al. 1995).

Discharge from dairies is a major source of pollution in streams. In-stream vegetation and other biota

have an ability to remove or nullify much of the pollutants, depending on load, stream flow and other

factors. Hollon & Owen (1981) described one such case in Tennessee where a 200-cow dairy cattle

feedlot discharged into a stream for 22 months. Counts of faecal coliform and streptococcal bacteria,

BOD and orthophosphate concentration all decreased significantly in water between 300 and 3900 ft

downstream; the extent of most other pollution parameters also decreased and water quality at 3900 ft

was not different from that above the discharge point. Only faecal coliform count exceeded the

maximum permissible level proposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. When many

agricultural, urban and industrial outlets add to the burden then the environment cannot cope. Serious

algal blooms, human health problems, loss of wildlife and loss of amenity are the consequences.

Hollon & Owen (1982) also found that, while stream levels of pollutants were not worse at 900 ft

below the inflow point than above it, higher levels of most water quality parameters in samples from

test wells near the waterway than wells outside the area indicated seepage of pollutants from the

waterway into groundwater.

Foy & Kirk (1995) measured water quality on a fisheries ecosystem scale of 1 (good/salmonid) to 6

(bad/fish absent), of forty-two lowland streams in two Northern Ireland river catchments and found it

to be inversely correlated with the stocking rate of grazing animals on adjacent pastures. A decrease

in water quality of one scale unit was associated with an increase in the combined grazing/stocking

rate of cattle and sheep of 0.6 dairy cow equivalents/ha. The worst pollution events were caused by

discharges of silage effluent, while smaller biological oxygen demand (BOD) peaks in late winter and

early spring were related to the land spreading of animal slurries. Poultry and pig farms did not have a

major impact on water quality. As the intensity of dairying increases in southern Australia we may

expect the same overall relationship to be evident.

Burkart et al. (2002) reviewed the subject of nitrate in aquifers beneath agricultural systems. Shallow,

unconfined aquifers are most susceptible to nitrate contamination associated with agricultural systems.

Alluvial and other unconsolidated aquifers are the most vulnerable and shallow carbonate aquifers

provide a substantial but smaller contamination risk. Where any of these aquifers are overlain by

permeable soils the risk of contamination is larger. Irrigated systems can compound this vulnerability

by increasing leaching facilitated by additional recharge and additional nutrient applications. The

agricultural system of corn, soybeans, and hogs produced significantly larger concentrations of

groundwater nitrate than all other agricultural systems, although mean nitrate concentrations in

counties with dairy, poultry, cattle and grains, and horticulture systems were similar. If trends in the

relation between increased fertilizer use and groundwater nitrate in the United States are repeated in

other regions of the world, Asia may experience increasing problems because of recent increases in

fertilizer use. Groundwater monitoring in Western and Eastern Europe as well as Russia over the next

decade may provide data to determine if the trend in increased nitrate contamination can be reversed.

If the trend towards concentrated livestock industries in the United States is global, it may be

accompanied by increasing nitrogen contamination in groundwater. Concentrated livestock provide

both point-sources in the confinement area and intense non-point sources, as fields close to facilities

are used for manure disposal.

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Hickey et al. (1989) examined effluent characteristics of dairy shed oxidation ponds and their potential

impacts on rivers in New Zealand. Maintenance of receiving water concentration below existing

criteria for 95% of the time would require >2700-fold dilution for faecal coliforms (bathing criterion),

>67-fold dilution for coliforms (post-treatment drinking criterion) and >2700-fold dilution to prevent

nuisance levels of algal proliferations below discharges. Most uses are accommodated provided

dilution exceeds 250-fold, requiring a min. stream flow of 0.058 m3/s for a 220-cow herd.

Hayman (1989) considers the major agricultural sources contributing to the poor downstream water

quality in Ontario's Upper Thames River watershed at Pittock Reservoir as: (1) overland runoff of

nutrients, chemical and sediments (2) uncontained manure and feedlot runoff (3) livestock access to

open water (4) contaminated subsurface drainage. Nearly half of all tile-drain outlets indicated poor

effluent quality, particularly in wet weather conditions. Over 80% of the dairies used subsurface

drainage to dispose of wash water from the dairy. A significant amount of P, mostly in the reactive

form, is discharged annually to subsurface drainage.

Hubbard et al. (1987) examined surface runoff and shallow ground water quality as affected by dairy

cattle wastes applied to pastures by centre-pivot irrigation systems. Dairy cattle wastes were applied

at mean monthly N rates of 91 and 44 kg/ha. Total cumulative N loads in surface runoff for June

1982-February 1985 from the high and low wastewater rates were 147 and 47 kg/ha, respectively.

Substantial NO 3 -N contamination at 3.6 m occurred despite dense, very slowly permeable plinthic and

subsoil materials.

Regulatory oversight is currently directed primarily at the assurance of water quality; N is the most

monitored element (van Horn et al. 1994). Kelly et al. (1991) examined N movements through 6

pathways from pasture plots applied with manure at rates of 150, 300, and 450 lbs N/acre/year on 3

soil types in two different climates in Oregon. The 6 pathways were volatilization, denitrification,

runoff, deep leaching, plant uptake, and additions to the soil system. Nitrate and ammonium

concentration in the runoff water ranged from 1.8-0.0 mg/L NO 3 and 1.5-0.8 mg/L NH 4 . Nitrate

concentration in the soil water ranged from 0.1-1.3 mg/L. Denitrification rates ranged from 0.7 lbs

N/acre to 9.2 lbs/acre for a 30-day period. Volatilization of ammonia from manure accounted for as

much as 35% of the applied nitrogen.

McFarland and Hauck (1999) related agricultural land uses to in-stream stormwater quality in the

North Bosque River of central Texas, USA. N and P concentrations (and the proportion of soluble

reactive P (SRP)) increased as the proportion of land area used for dairy waste application fields (or

milking cow densities) increased in the drainage basins above sampling sites. This increase in SRP is

significant because SRP is readily bioavailable in aquatic systems, and therefore increased the

potential for accelerated eutrophication in receiving water bodies. There was a need to manage the

movement of nutrients, particularly soluble P, from manure application fields in areas where in-stream

nutrient levels are considered a non-point source pollution problem.

Dou et al. (2000) found that, regardless of species, water-soluble P is the largest single fraction in

animal manures, accounting for 39 to 94% of the total extractable P. Inorganic P dominates the total

extractable P with a minimum of 63% and a maximum of 98%. There were some differences in P

fraction distributions across animal species, for example the swine and broiler poultry samples

exhibited relatively higher proportions of NaHCO 3 and HCl-extractable fractions than the dairy

manures. Moreover, some manure storage and handling practices resulted in changed P fraction

distributions with decreases in water soluble P and increases in the less vulnerable fractions

Phosphorus is present in waterways throughout USA at concentrations that impair water quality and

agriculture is the major cause. Excess manure applied to croplands has increased P losses in runoff,

leading to surface water eutrophication (Cooperband & Good 2002). A similar situation is likely to

arise in areas of Australia that have intensive agricultural industries. Currently, pollution of major

streams and water bodies in Australia may result mainly from treated or untreated sewerage that is

discharged into the streams from adjacent towns. Discharges also contain nitrogen, particularly NO 3 .

Cassell et al. (1998) state that P export from agriculture is a major cause of eutrophication in many

lake ecosystems in the USA. They used mass balance calculations with an Agriculture Ecosystem

model (AEP model) to describe P dynamics for the farm system, which are driven by the amount of P

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stored in agricultural soils and system management practices. Long-term sustainability of resources

and environmental quality can be monitored and managed by dynamic simulation modelling.

Cooperband Good (2002) have shown that poultry manure contains sparingly-soluble Ca and Mg

phosphate minerals that control soil P solution concentrations, while dairy manure did not. The

findings refute the assumption that all manure behaves similarly in soil and that organic forms control

manure-soil P loss to water.

Allen et al. (1982) note that poor water quality results from both point and non-point sources of excess

nutrients derived largely from dairy operations within the watershed. Direct stream access by large

numbers of dairy cattle and poor animal waste management were the primary contributing factors to

excessive nutrients (P and N) in the water.

Shirmohammadi et al. (1997) examined the Warner watershed located in Frederick County, Maryland,

USA. and found that a major cause of pollution was mismanagement of dairy manure. Results also

showed that the lack of fencing around stream channels in the watershed with dairy operations may

result in the direct deposit of animal waste into the stream, thus causing elevated concentrations of

nitrogen and phosphorus. Subsurface lateral flow increases nitrate loadings to the stream in the

Piedmont physiographic region, thus making nutrient management a priority in upland agricultural

fields.

Rodda et al. (1999) looked at the effects of intensive dairy farming on stream water quality of the

Toenepi basin, near Hamilton in New Zealand's North Island. The model scenario testing confirmed

that any further intensification of land use could lead to stream nitrate concentrations above WHO

guidelines. Shirmohammadi et al. (1997 observed that sub-surface lateral flow increases nitrate

loadings to the stream in the Piedmont physiographic region, thus making nutrient management a

priority in upland agricultural fields. This situation is likely to occur in similar areas of Australia

where lateral flows are common (e.g. Dundas Tableland formation in Victoria) and where high levels

of artificial N are applied.

Wilcock et al. (1999) found that water quality of a lowland stream in the Waikato region of New

Zealand – a catchment dominated by dairy farms –had concentrations of faecal coliform and

enterococci bacteria and specific yields of N and NO 3 -N (35.3 and 30.7 kg/ha/year, respectively) that

were much greater than any previously reported for New Zealand pasture catchments. P and dissolved

reactive P yields (1.16 and 0.54 kg/ha/year, respectively) were more in accord with other studies.

They concluded that greater use of land treatment of liquid wastes would reduce stream inputs of

faecal organisms, NH 4 -N and P.

Nitrate leaching in Australia will occur where clover is grown and, although this contributes to soil

acidity, it probably does not contribute greatly to NO 3 -N in ground waters – substitution of artificial N

by growing white clover is one way to reduce N losses (Stout et al. 2001), although perhaps at an

uneconomic cost to the farmer.

McKee et al. (2001) examined the subtropical Richmond River catchment in Australia and found N

and P concentrations were relatively low compared with other parts of the world. Water quality and

nutrient concentrations increased downstream and were significantly related to population density and

dairy farming. Anthropogenic impacts had the greatest effects on water quality in the catchment.

Finally, to another perspective – tourism and a potential conflict with agricultural landuse. For

example, Vant et al. (2000) state that levels of nitrogen-dependent phytoplankton in Lake Taupo are

currently very low, so the clarity of the lake water is exceptionally good, because input of N to the

lake from the catchment are currently low (averaging 3-4 kg N/ha/year.). Converting 100-250 km 2 of

sheep/beef pasture to intensive dairying yielding 30 kg N/ha/year. would increase the overall N load to

the lake by 20-60%. This could cause phytoplankton levels to increase by a similar proportion, so that

water clarity would fall by 20-40%. What impact would this have on the local economy?

Regulation and economic effects

The economic impact of imposition of water quality regulations to an industry that had previously had

little regulation in such matters can be very severe. Leatham et al. (1992) examined the impact of

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Texas water quality laws on dairy income and viability. Results for 300- and 720-cow dairies

suggested additional annual costs of $60 and $81 per cow, respectively. Compliance with waterquality

laws reduces net farm income by 27% and 63% for 720-cow dairies with low- and high-debt

positions, respectively. The probability of survival of the dairies with low debt was not affected by

compliance but dairies with high debt had their probability decreased by 47 percentage points. Net

farm income for representative 300-cow dairies would be negative after compliance with water-quality

laws.

Brossier et al. (1992) used a linear programming model to analyse the technical and economic

parameters of farming that could be compatible with the demands of a mineral water company for a

limit of 10 mg N/L in underground water. This could be done with dairy farming but the costs of

meeting the constraints appeared to be very high.

An outline of the methods of treating dairy waste that are commonly employed in the USA in the

1970s is given by Buxton et al. (1977). Three alternative private waste treatment systems are

considered, and the possible effects on consumer prices of the dairy industry complying with effluent

limitations. Dairy plants that use municipal wastewater treatment facilities were generally better off

cost-wise to pay the higher use municipal charge than to construct their own private treatment system.

For those without that option, the ridge and furrow land disposal system would cost less than either the

stabilization pond or aerated lagoon-irrigation systems. Sweeten & Wolfe (1994) also present manure

and wastewater management systems for open lot dairy operations in Texas where water use for milk

sanitation and manure removal averaged 148 litres/cow per day. Two-stage anaerobic lagoon systems

achieved higher solids and nutrient removal efficiencies than a combination of settling basin and onestage

anaerobic lagoons.

Ham & DeSutter (2000) present site-specific design standards for animal-waste lagoons that are

intended to protect ground water quality. The use of site-specific design criteria will ensure that

manure storages are adequate (e.g. plastic-lined lagoons) in regions with vulnerable groundwater,

while providing reduced lagoon construction costs (lower cost of soil-lined lagoons) for producers

who site their operations in areas of low risk. To complement the site-specific approach, the wholelagoon

seepage rate should be measured after construction to verify that the prescribed performance

criteria have been met.

Zhang & Essex (1997) indicate how difficult it is to retrieve a situation where intensive dairying and

other industries have created massive pollution and continuing loads of pollutants to the environment.

The ecological health of south Florida's Lake Okeechobee (USA) is seriously compromised, based on

observed P concentrations and simulated runoff from 57 out-of-compliance sites. These alone

produced an estimated 22 t of P to Lake Okeechobee on an average annual basis. Two P management

scenarios were modelled for these sites. The first reduced P concentrations in run-off to the discharge

limitation. The second changed current land uses to unused rangeland. Model results showed that the

first management scenario produced an estimated 15.5 t of P load reduction to the lake, and the second

gave a 20 t reduction, representing 21% and 27% of the excess P load to Lake Okeechobee.

The solution to dairy manure and plant nutrient management issues affecting water quality depend on

the organization of individual farms (Lanyon 1994). The management requirements and options are

different for point (farmyard) and non-point (field applied) sources of pollution from farms. A formal

management process can guide decisions about existing crop nutrient utilization potential, provide a

framework for monitoring nutrients supplied to crops and identify future requirements for dairy

manure management to protect water quality.

Lagaisse (1993) discusses purification of dairy wastewater in Belgium, including the current state of

legislation and whether the polluter should pay.

The feed component

Lanyon (1990) points out that feed and other purchases acquired off-farm to support high animal

densities represent a major part of the total annual plant nutrient additions to the farms and waterquality

protection problems. Off-farm imports can originate far away, while dairy manure is rarely

transported more than several km from the source. A net accumulation of nutrients on or near the

dairy farm results, with a potential hazard for water quality.

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Improved animal performance brought about by purchased feeds lead to excessive nutrient returns.

Gruber and Steinwidder (1996) review the factors affecting nutrient balance on a dairy farm. The

factors affecting P excretion are level of supply, animal performance, stocking rate, and utilization of

P in different feed sources. Amount of P excreted/cow annually increases from 8.9 to 12.7 kg at milk

yields of 4,000 and 8,000 kg, respectively, when P is supplied according to requirements. As with

milk production, finishing systems for bulls result in an increased excretion of P, due to a higher

proportion of purchased feeds being used to obtain improved performance. Excretion of N in slurry

increases with increasing feed intake, milk yield and milk protein content. Depending on milk yield

and forage quality, N excretions between 90 and 180 kg/ha forage can be expected. By comparison,

amount of N excreted in specialized bull finishing systems is up to 2.5 times higher because their diet

consists of forage that has higher yields. N excretion/ha forage maize increases with increasing daily

gains. Nutrient returns to the soil from animal production correspond approximately to removals by

plants under balanced situations of production (fertilizers, stocking rate, purchase of concentrates).

Anderson and Magdoff (2000) identify overfeeding of minerals as a prime cause of declining water

quality of many lakes in the north-eastern USA. Phosphorus was often fed in excess of the cow's

nutritional requirements recommended by the National Research Council. Feeding of excess P results

from the high P levels recommended by feed salesmen and nutritionists. In a survey of 7 Vermont

dairy feed consultants and salespersons, rations were designed to feed cows as much as 50% more P

than research has indicated is necessary. It was estimated that an average of 57% of the P brought

onto the farms was not exported. Phosphorus imported in feed and minerals averaged 65% of the total

P imports, with purchased fertilizer contributing 35%.

Manure disposal to land on the farm

The main way of disposal of animal waste is to spread manure on the available fields. van Horn et al.

(1994) stated that dairy manure management systems should account for the fate of excreted nutrients

that may be of environmental concern; currently in the USA this is N. Land application of manure at

acceptable fertilizer levels to crops produced on the farm, by hauling or by pumping flushed manure

effluent through irrigation systems, is the basis of most systems. Nutrient losses to surface and

groundwaters can be avoided, and significant economic value can be obtained from manure as

fertilizer if adequate crop production is possible.

Doss et al. (1976) discuss the effect on forage production, animal health and runoff water quality when

manure was incorporated at 10 and 20 tons per acre or higher. When rates exceeded 20 tons per acre,

forage was high in N0 3 -N and had K/(Ca+Mg) ratios that could be detrimental to animal health

(tetany). Incorporating manure at 20 tons per acre into the top 6 inches of Norfolk sandy loam for 3

consecutive years had little effect on the N0 3 -N or NH 4 -N concentration of runoff water or on soil

properties. Total N lost in runoff water was greatest when rainfall and runoff were highest. N0 3 -N

increased in the manured soil profile, but the top 36 inches contained an amount only equivalent to

that removed by one millet crop. Organic-N increased only to the depth of manure incorporation.

Williamson et al. (1998) concluded that effluent applications should be avoided altogether in midwinter

(mid June to late July in southern hemisphere) when the greatest loss of N from leaching

occurs. The reduction in N leached achieved by applying a nitrification inhibitor was not sufficient to

avert high N losses and environmental damage in the case of repeated, high effluent-N loadings during

winter.

Roach et al. (2001) claim that land application of farm dairy effluent (FDE) is preferred over pond

treatment because of the potential reduction in environmental impacts, and recycling of valuable

nutrients. There was no difference in pasture responses between FDE and urea when applied at the

same rate of N. The ryegrass content of pastures increased with increasing N rates whether from

effluent or urea. N and nitrate-N concentrations in the herbage showed some increases but were not

excessive at rates up to 400 kg N/ha per year. Pasture concentrations of other nutrients (except K)

were unaffected by the rate or form of nitrogen applied. Both pasture K and soil K levels were

significantly higher under the effluent treatments. Nitrate and calcium leaching increased significantly

under the highest rate of N application (400 kg N/ha per year). Spreading FDE over a sufficiently

large area (15-20% of the farm) can reduce inputs of K to near maintenance requirements and restrict

N inputs to about 80-120 kg N/ha.year, thereby avoiding potential animal health and environmental

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problems. A behavioural study showed that cows disliked grazing pastures recently treated with FDE.

This study also showed that there was a significant and rapid decline in faecal coliform counts on

pasture following effluent application.

Geohring et al. (2001) considered that application of liquid manure to land can result in nutrient

enrichment of subsurface drainage effluent when conditions promote leaching or macropore flow.

This contamination is most likely to occur when precipitation occurs soon after manure application

and may cause environmental impacts to receiving waters. High P concentrations observed in tile

drain effluent soon after manure application can be attributed to macropore transport processes. Even

small continuous macropores are potential pathways. Ploughing-in manure apparently disturbs these

macropores and promotes matrix flow, resulting in greatly reduced P concentrations in the drainage

effluent.

Di & Cameron (2002) examined nitrate leaching and pasture production from different nitrogen

sources on a shallow stony soil under flood-irrigated dairy pasture in New Zealand. The leaching of

NO3- from dairy pastures is a major environmental concern in many countries. A lysimeter study was

used to determine the amount of N0 3 -N leached following the application of urea, dairy effluent, urine,

and pasture renovation to a free-draining Lismore stony silt loam growing a mixture of perennial

ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and white clover (Trifolium repens) pasture. N0 3 -N leaching losses ranged

from 112 to 162 kg N ha-1 year-1, depending on the amount and forms of N applied and pasture

conditions. Nitrate leaching under the urine patches was the main contributor to the N leaching loss in

a grazed paddock. Nitrate leaching losses were lower for urine applied in the spring (29% of N

applied) than for urine applied in the autumn (38-58%). The application of urea or dairy effluent only

contributed a small proportion to the total N0 3 -N leaching loss in a grazed paddock.

Disposal to land remote from the farm

Young et al. (1986) looked at alternatives for dairy manure management and their effects on pollution

control and economics in Pennsylvania. When N losses were constrained to 70% of initial daily-losses

resulting from spreading, net returns were reduced significantly. Lucerne acreage had to increase and

herd size decrease to meet this constraint. Hauling manure 40 miles away from the farm to meet the

nitrogen constraint increased net returns, therefore was a better option.

van Horn et al. (1994) suggest that dairies with insufficient crop production potential need affordable

systems to concentrate manure nutrients, thereby reducing transport costs and possibly producing a

saleable product. Precipitation of additional nutrients from flushed manures with sedimented solids

may be possible. Composting of separated manure solids offers a possible method to stabilize solids

for distribution, although solids separated from dairy manures are usually fibrous and low in fertility.

Manure solids combined with wastes from other sources may have potential if a marketable product

can be produced or if sufficient subsidy is received for processing supplementary wastes. Solutions to

odour problems are needed. Energy generated from manure organic mater, via anaerobic digestion,

reduces atmospheric emissions of methane and odorous compounds. Harvesting of photosynthetic

biomass from wastewater could improve water quality, making extensive recycling possible.

Vegetated filter strips

Barker & Young (1985) considered that vegetative filters represented a lower cost, lower management

wastewater treatment than conventional retention pond irrigation systems, and were much more likely

to be implemented on small to moderately sized dairy farms. Cooper et al. (1994) concluded that

constructed wetlands have considerable potential as cost-effective on-farm waste management

systems. They state that the beneficial role of wetland ecosystems for improving water quality has

been known for 2 decades and thoroughly documented. Recent research interest is focused on uses of

natural and constructed wetlands for processing of concentrated on-farm animal waste. Giant bulrush

(Schoenoplectuss validus) was used in one pilot plant. Total P reduction ranged from 42% to 87%,

and ammonia was reduced 76% to 96% by treatment. Nitrate trapping varied from -278% to 40%; the

negative efficiency was due to conversion of ammonia to nitrate. BOD decreased more than 70%.

Accumulation of senescent plant biomass in the treatment cells after two growing seasons caused

reduced growth of bulrushes in some areas, suggesting a biomass removal strategy be implemented to

maintain the culture.

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Jennings et al. (1998) evaluated the effectiveness of a created riparian zone on a dairy farm in North

Carolina in removing nutrients, where the riparian BMP system included livestock exclusion,

alternative water supply, stream crossings, vegetative bank stabilization, and tree planting. Weekly

grab samples and storm-event samples of water downstream of the riparian buffer indicate annual

pollutant load reductions for total sediment, total suspended sediment, total P, total N, and nitrate plus

nitrite were 80, 80, 72, 71, and 40%, respectively. Median faecal coliform and streptococci bacteria

concentrations were reduced by 90%.

Tanner et al. (1995a,b) examined the impact of loading rate and planting of Schoenoplectus validus on

treatment of dairy farm waste waters in constructed wetlands in New Zealand. The wetlands were

operated at nominal retention times of 7, 5.5, 3 and 2 d. Outflow levels of 5-day biochemical oxygen

demand (CBOD5), suspended solids (SS) and faecal coliforms (FC) rapidly mirrored changes in

influent loadings. Mean mass removal of CBOD5 increased from 60-75 to 85-90%, total BOD

(CBOD5 + NBOD) from 50-80% and FC from 90-96 to >99% with increasing wetland retention time

during the first 12 months of monitoring. Mean annual SS removals of 75-85% were recorded

irrespective of loading rate. As wastewater retention times increased from 2 to 7 days, mean reduction

of TN increased from 12 to 41% in the unplanted wetlands and 48 to 75% in the planted wetlands, and

TP removal increased from 1 to 36% and 37 to 74%, respectively. The planted wetlands showed

significantly improved removal rates for CBOD5 at higher loadings, and 1.3 to 2.6-fold higher mass

removals of total BOD. The unplanted wetlands showed a marked decline in TN and TP removal at

high loadings. Net storage by plants in the first year accounted for between 3-20% of the greater N

removal and between 3-60% of the greater P removal in the planted wetlands. In another study

(Tanner 2001) with Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (soft-stem bulrush or lake clubrush), after three

growth seasons only 6 to 11% of the N removal and 6 to 13% of the P removal recorded from

wastewaters applied to the wetlands could be ascribed to plant uptake and accumulation.

Cronk (1996 reviewed the uses of constructed wetlands as a best management practice to treat animal

waste water and concluded that results are promising when wetlands are a component of a farm-wide

waste management plan, but they are ineffective without pre-treatment of the waste water. The

feasibility of constructed wetlands varies with waste characteristics and climate. While the cost of

wetland construction is low, the site must be maintained in order for the initial investment in the

wetland to be worthwhile. Hunt et al. (2001) also consider that solids removal prior to wetland

treatment is essential for long-term functionality.

Nash & Murdoch (1997) looked at phosphorus in runoff from a fertile dairy pasture in Gippsland,

Victoria. They considered that the low settling velocities of materials


micro-filtration, removal of nitrates and phosphates, and disinfection, might become necessary if

water-quality standards were to become stricter. The design and construction of a water-purification

plant and the factors that need to be taken into account, including legislation, are described.

Daufin et al. (2001) reviewed the applications of membrane processes in the food and dairy industry

and suggested that a large field of applications are emerging for the treatment of individual process

streams at source for water and technical fluids re-use, and end-of-pipe treatment of wastewaters,

while reducing sludge production and improving the final purified water quality.

Using grazing systems with legumes

Stout et al. (2000) assessed the effect of management by intensive grazing on water quality in the

northeast U.S. Stocking rate determines profitability of grazing on a dairy farm. However, increased

stocking rate can increase NO 3 leaching from pastures because the bulk of the N consumed by the

animal is excreted in concentrated areas of the pasture, mainly in urine. A relatively low cumulative

seasonal stocking rate of 200 mature Holstein per ha could result in a 10 mg NO 3 -N/L concentration in

the leachate beneath a fertilized, intensively grazed pasture. Thus, while management by intensive

grazing can improve farm profitability, it can have a significant negative effect on water quality

beneath pastures. Di & Cameron (2002) also comment that nitrate leaching under urine patches was

the main contributor to the N leaching loss in a grazed paddock in New Zealand. Nitrate leaching

losses were lower in the spring (29% of N applied) than for the autumn (38-58%). This is

undoubtedly due to the greater potential for plants to take up the applied urinary N in spring when the

pasture is growing faster. Incidentally, stocking rates in New Zealand appear to be much less than

stated by Stout et al. (2000).

Sprosen et al. (1997) compared nitrate leaching from white clover (Trifolium repens) or a ryegrassonly

pasture, which received a similar amount of N in the form of urea fertilizer in New Zealand.

Nitrate concentrations in the leachate were measured using ceramic cup collectors at 1 m depth. The

average nitrate-N concentration in leachate over the 3 years was 3.9 and 3.7 mg/L for the fertilizer and

clover treatments, respectively. This was well below the 11 mg nitrate-N/L limit set for drinking

water. Over the 3 years of the trial, 76 and 71 kg N/ha were leached from the fertilizer and clover

treatments, respectively.

Stout et al. (2001) noted that where white clover was used to supply nitrogen to the pasture there was a

decrease in the amount of NO 3 -N leached to groundwater, but this strategy produced less dry matter

yield, which in turn reduced stocking rate. Dairy farmers would not favour this strategy if there were

not offsets to the economic disadvantage of doing so.

Best Management Practices and modeled solutions

Reck et al. (1994) used GLEAMS modelling of BMPs to estimate the effect of conservation practices

in reducing nitrate leaching in Middle Suwannee River area, USA. Several alternative management

scenarios were modelled to determine the most effective method of reducing the leaching of NO 3 -N.

The BMPs included determination of optimal loading rates, efficient crop rotations, number of

harvests for hay land crops, irrigation of agricultural crops with lagoon effluent, reduction of

commercial fertilizer used, and control of high intensity areas. An average reduction in NO 3 leaching

of 77% was predicted for participating poultry farms and 55% dairy farms with the use of BMPs.

Brown et al. (1989) emphasised the need to identify the major polluting factors before implementing

plans to reduce the problem. They looked at New York State Model Implementation Program (MIP)

to reduce P-loading to the Cannonsville Reservoir, a eutrophic impoundment on the Delaware River

that supplies drinking water to New York City. They showed that there was much less P in run-off

from barnyards than from manure-spread cropland. Manure spreading schedules that guide the

locations and timing of spreading alone had the potential to reduce P loading by up to 35%. Because

treatment of cropland was given only limited attention by the MIP, P-loading reduction attributable to

the program, as well as the response of the reservoir's water quality, were negligible.

Ejaz & Peralta (1995) used a simulation/optimization model as an aid to managing multi-objective

waste water loading to streams while maintaining adequate downstream water quality. The conflicting

objectives are to maximise the human and dairy cattle populations while maintaining acceptable levels

of nutrients in the treated wastewater discharged to the river system. Municipal wastewater undergoes

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primary and secondary treatment by a sewerage treatment plant before entering at a steady pointsource.

Dairy wastewater is treated by overland flow (OLF) before entering the stream as a controlled,

steady, diffuse source. Maxiumum dual-source loading strategies that do not degrade downstream

water quality beyond specific limits were developed. The non-linear constraints used restrict

downstream concentration of 5-day biochemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, N (organic,

ammonia, nitrite and nitrate), organic and dissolved P, and chlorophyll a.

Stout et al. (2001) evaluated nitrogen management options for reducing nitrate leaching from

Northeast U.S. pastures, using the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System Model and a recently

developed nitrogen-leaching index. Substantial amounts of NO 3 -N can leach from intensively grazed

pasture in the northeast USA where there is approximately 30 cm of groundwater recharge, annually.

Management options utilizing energy supplementation of grazing dairy cows could improve nitrogen

efficiency within the cow, but would not necessarily reduce NO 3 -N leaching at the pasture scale if

stocking rate was not controlled. The management option of using white clover (Trifolium repens) to

supply nitrogen to the pasture decreased NO 3 -N leaching, but produced less dry matter yield, which in

turn reduced stocking rate. The economic returns of reducing NO 3 -N with these options need to be

evaluated in light of milk prices and commodity and fertilizer nitrogen costs. At current prices and

costs, the economic benefit from the energy supplementation options is substantial.

Zhang and Essex (1997) and Brossier et al. (1992) used models to analyse nutrient management

scenarios for pollutant loading to the environment.

Wang et al. (1999) studied the impact of dairy farming on well water nitrate level and soil content of

phosphorus and potassium over a 20-year period near Harford, New York. Mass nutrient balances (N,

P, K) were constructed with historical data from 1979 and 1994 for the 390 ha used for dairy

production. The balance of N increased from 43.1 t in 1979 to 66.0 t in 1994 and total milk

production increased by >40% (2502 to 3604 t). The concentration of NO 3 -N in a well increased from

3.3 to 7.0 mg/kg, 70% of the EPA upper limit. Soil P increased from 6.0 to 24.0 (kg/ha) during the

same period but soil K did not change. It was concluded that N, P, and K balance can be used as an

indicator of potential for increased NO 3 -N concentrations in wells and soil P and K levels,

respectively.

Cassells & Meister (2001) modeled the probable impact of cost and trade impacts of environmental

regulations New Zealand has set for water quality. The cost of the consequent move toward landbased

effluent disposal on New Zealand's dairy export trade was estimated, using a Computable

General Equilibrium model. Two scenarios were analysed: first, New Zealand acts unilaterally in

imposing water quality regulations; second, the other principal dairy exporters act in a similar fashion.

Changes in trade patterns vary from insignificant to large, depending on the scenario analysed.

Fleming et al. (2001) collected overland and sub-surface flow from dairy pasture on adjacent subcatchments

on soils with very strong texture contrast between the A soil horizons (sandy loam texture)

and B soil horizons (clay texture) in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Water samples were

analysed for 20 different chemical fractions and all but five could be separated into one of two clear

groups: either dissolved or particulate fractions. This is consistent with the majority of chemical

fractions moving from pasture by one of only two processes. These findings may have major

implications in the modelling and prediction of chemical loads in runoff from agricultural catchments

and the setting of environmental limits; chemical loss predictions would be simplified by adding a

nutrient loss module to predictions of runoff volume.

While some, including Nash, have indicated doubts that, apart from better adherence to BMPs for

effluent treatment and discharge, fertiliser application and other practices, we can do much to reduce P

or N pollution of waterways in Victoria, I believe that this review has indicated a number of ways in

which the situation can be improved or adverse results pre-empted. One of those ways is to accept

that further intensification cannot be permitted in places where nutrient pollution is already acute. The

construction of vegetated filter strips will not remove all of the washed nutrients but has been proven

to be at least moderately effective. Attention to feeding standards and breeding of dairy stock

(efficiency of conversion) are other areas that offer major gains in reducing P inputs in intensive dairy

systems.

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Water quality in streams & ground - selected abstracts from literature

1972-2002

[Aislabie J, Smith JJ, Fraser R, McLeod M (2001) Leaching of bacterial indicators of faecal

contamination through four New Zealand soils. Australian Journal of Soil Research 39: 6, 1397-

1406] - Land application of animal waste can result in bacterial contamination of shallow groundwater

and/or waterways. Using 500-mm-diameter barrel lysimeters, we investigated the potential for

bacterial indicators to leach through 4 New Zealand soils treated with dairy shed effluent (DSE). DSE

was applied to soil lysimeters containing poorly drained gley soils (Te Kowhai and Netherton) and

well-drained allophanic (Waihou) and pumice soils (Atiamuri) at 50 mm/h, a typical field application

rate used by farmers. Simulated rainfall was applied continuously at a rate of 5-10 mm/h, and leachate

collected at a depth of 700 or 750 mm was analysed for faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, and faecal

enterococci. Bacterial indicators of faecal contamination readily moved through the Te Kowhai and

Netherton soils, but not the Waihou and Atiamuri soils. Differential microbial movement was

attributed to differences in soil structure. The poorly drained soils have coarse subsoil structures with

macropores, favouring bypass flow. In contrast, the well-drained soils have a finer, more uniformly

porous soil structure that minimized bypass flow and allowed matrix flow.

[Allen LH Jr., Ruddell JM, Ritter GJ, Davis FE, Yates P, Kruse EG (ed.), Burdick CR (ed.), Yousef

YA (ed.) (1982) Land use effects on Taylor Creek water quality. Proc. Specialty Conference on

Environmentally Sound Water and Soil Management, pp. 67-77 (American Society of Civil Engineers;

New York; USA)] - Poor water quality results from both point and non-point sources of excess

nutrients derived largely from dairy operations within the watershed. Poor animal waste management

and direct stream access by large numbers of dairy cattle are the primary contributing factors to

excessive nutrients (P and N) in the water.

[Anderson BH, Magdoff FR (2000) Dairy farm characteristics and managed flows of phosphorus.

American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 15: 1, 19-25] – Non-point sources of P pollution have

been implicated in the declining water quality of many lakes in the northeastern USA. Most of the

agricultural nonpoint P contribution to surface waters comes from field runoff. Water quality may be

improved by better understanding the movement, or flow, of P through a farm so that reasons for build

up of high soil P levels can be identified and remedies explored. In this study, the managed flows of P

(P in imported and exported products) were estimated based on 1-h farmer interviews on 45 Vermont

farms and 1 New York farm. Farm P inflow/outflow budgets were developed using information from

the interviews. It was estimated that an average of 57% of the P brought onto the farms was not

exported. Phosphorus imported in feed and minerals averaged 65% of the total P imports, while

purchased fertilizer contributed to an average of 35% of the total farm P imports. Phosphorus was

often fed in excess of the cow's nutritional requirements recommended by the National Research

Council. Soil test P levels on 2 pairs of farms with similar animal densities and soil types reflected the

large differences in the estimated net P accumulation. For all 46 farms, there was a significant

relationship between net P accumulation and animal density (r 2 =0.59). Farms grouped by

management operation type (confinement, pasture-based (non-organic), and pasture-based (organic))

were different in average farm size, animal density, P imports, net P accumulation, milk production,

and predominant crop. Feeding of excess P results from the high P levels recommended by feed

salesmen and nutritionists, who typically take into account the available home-grown forages and

provide the suggested needs for purchases of concentrates and minerals. In a survey of 7 Vermont

dairy feed consultants and salespersons, rations were designed to feed cows as much as 50% more P

than research has indicated is necessary.

[Barker JC, Young BA (1985) Vegetative filter treatment of dairy wastewater and lot runoff in

Southern Appalachia. Agricultural waste utilization and management. Proc. 5th International

Symposium on Agricultural Wastes, 16-17 December 1985, Chicago, Illinois, USA. pp. 745-758] -

Vegetative filters represent a lower cost, lower management wastewater treatment than conventional

retention pond irrigation systems, and are much more likely to be implemented on small to moderately

sized dairy farms. Properly planned vegetative filters on soils having moderate to high

infiltration/permeability rates are an alternative wastewater treatment technology that can be

compatible with area-wide water quality goals in mountainous areas. Vegetative filters can be

successful on slopes to 10% by dividing the filter length into 4-5 segments using parallel contoured

terraces. Excessive hydraulic loadings severely hamper the effective treatment capability of a

93


vegetative filter. Water conservation and lot runoff reduction should receive top priority. Manure

solids should be removed from the settling basin every 60 days or after each major rainfall runoff

event. Uniform wastewater distribution across the filter width is extremely important - more

development is needed on low cost, easily maintained distribution systems. The most successful filter

performance results from alternately dosing and resting individual segments. Filter runoff organic and

nutrient concentrations can be highly influenced by wastewater residence time on the filter surface and

filter flow length.

[Benham BL, Mote CR (1999) Investigating dairy lagoon effluent treatability in a laboratory-scale

constructed wetlands system. Transactions of the ASAE 42: 2, 495-502] - Dairy lagoon supernatant

treatability was evaluated using 10 laboratory scale (1.5 m X 0.45 m) constructed wetlands. Selected

design and operational variables were examined. Tested treatments were combinations of 3 organic

loading rates (high, medium, and low) and 3 types of microbial attachment sites (vegetated, inert, and

none). Five combinations (2 replications each) of organic loading rate and microbial attachment sites

were tested. Removal efficiencies were based on analysis of influent/effluent waste constituent levels.

Dominant nitrogen (N) removal mechanisms were determined from an examination of

influent/effluent N speciation. Analysis of waste degradation kinetics provided insight with respect to

the applicability of a widely used design model. Results showed consistently high N-removal

efficiencies (65-81%) for all treatments. N speciation results indicate that nitrification/denitrification

was the dominant N removal mechanism. Carbon removal was less efficient (6-39%), and varied with

influent strength. Waste utilization kinetic rate-constants from the 5 treatments were not statistically

different (alpha = 0.05). The design model uses microbial attachment site parameters, such as specific

surface area, to modify a base reaction rate-constant (i.e., a rate-constant for a system with no

microbial attachment sites). In this case, the rate-constant for the control (treatments with no microbial

attachment sites) was not statistically different from either the vegetated or the inert treatments.

[Bharati L, Lee KH, Isenhart TM, Schultz RC (2002) Soil-water infiltration under crops, pasture, and

established riparian buffer in Midwestern USA. Agroforestry Systems 56(3): 249-257] - The

production-oriented agricultural system of Midwestern United States has caused environmental

problems such as soil degradation and non-point source (NPS) pollution of water. Riparian buffers

have been shown to reduce the impacts of NPS pollutants on stream water quality through the

enhancement of riparian zone soil quality. The objective of this study was to compare soil-water

infiltration in a Coland soil (fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, mesic Cumulic Endoaquoll) under multispecies

riparian buffer vegetation with that of cultivated fields and a grazed pasture. The average 60-

min cumulative infiltration was five times greater under the buffers than under the cultivated field and

pasture. Cumulative infiltration in the multi-species riparian buffer was in the order of silver maple >

grass filter > switchgrass. Cumulative infiltration did not differ significantly among corn and soybean

crop fields and the pasture. Soil bulk densities under the multi-species buffer vegetation were

significantly smaller than in the crop fields and the pasture. When using infiltration as an index, the

established multi-species buffer vegetation seemed to improve soil quality after six years.

[Boyer DG, Pasquarell GC (1996) Agricultural land use effects on nitrate concentrations in a mature

karst aquifer. Water Resources Bulletin 32: 3, 565-573] - Nitrate-N concentration was highest in cave

streams draining the dairy and a cave stream draining an area of pasture where cattle congregated for

shade and water. The dairy contributed 60 to 70% of the increased N load in the study section of the

cave system. Agriculture was significantly affecting nitrates in the karst aquifer. Best management

practices may be one way to protect the groundwater resource.

[Brossier J, Benoit M, Falloux JC, Gaury F, Pierre P, Loseby M (1992) Agricultural practices,

underground water quality and research-development, project: modelling of nitrogen constraint in

several farms. The environment and the management of agricultural resources 201-216 (European

Association of Agricultural Economists; Viterbo; Italy)] - Following a request from a company

producing mineral water, research was conducted to determine which changes in farming systems

could curb the increase in nitrogen levels in underground water and into methods for implementing

them in a profitable and sustainable way. A linear programming model was used to analyse the

technical and economic parameters of farming practices. Hypotheses were proposed regarding

connections between the annual nitrates balance and the level of nitrates in the water. The connections

were used to formulate nitrogen constraints. The results showed that certain farming systems,

94


especially dairy farming, could be compatible with the demands of the company (10 mg/L) but that the

costs of meeting the constraints appeared to be very high.

[Brown MP, Longabucco P, Rafferty MR, Robillard PD, Walter MF, Haith DA (1989) Effects of

animal waste control practices on nonpoint-source phosphorus loading in the West Branch of the

Delaware River watershed. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 44: 1, 67-70] - The water quality

objective of the New York State Model Implementation Program (MIP) was to reduce phosphorus (P)

loading to the Cannonsville Reservoir, a eutrophic impoundment on the West Branch of the Delaware

River that supplies drinking water to New York City. The MIP focused on controlling P losses from

animal waste sources in the rural watershed, particularly dairy barnyards. Results indicated that runoff

from the West Branch watershed during the winter-spring period accounted for more than 80% of the

annual loading of dissolved and total P to the reservoir. Reductions in barnyard P losses of 50% to

90% were shown to be achievable using practices that reduced the volume of runoff from these areas.

However, the contribution of P from barnyard runoff was substantially less than that from manurespread

cropland. Manure spreading schedules that guide the locations and timing of spreading had the

potential to reduce P loading from the studied sub-watershed by as much as 35% in the absence of

short-term or long-term manure storage systems. Because treatment of cropland was given only

limited attention by the MIP, P loading reduction attributable to the programme as well as the response

of the reservoir's water quality were negligible.

[Burgoa B, Bottcher AB, Mansell RS, Allen LH Jr (1991) Distributions of residual soil phosphorus

along transects for three dairies in Okeechobee County, Florida. Proceedings Soil and Crop Science

Society of Florida 50, 137-144] - Animal waste from high-cattle density areas around dairy barns on

flat, sandy, high water table Spodosols of southern Florida contribute large stream flow inputs of P

into Lake Okeechobee. The objectives were to determine P content and retention capacity of these

soils along cattle-use intensity transects from barns to water-courses, and the relationship between P

content and soil buffer capacity. Soil samples were collected from three dairy farms and also at a

native (natural vegetation) area at depths ranging from the surface horizon (0-0.2 m) to 2 or 3 m. For

all three extractable forms of P (water, Mehlich I and total extractable), concentration observed in

areas near the milking barn and near the creek exceeded those in the native areas. However, no spatial

trends in concentration were found along the transects. Highest P concentration were observed in the

A and E surface horizons which had small buffer capacities for P sorption. Phosphorus possibly

accumulated in a precipitated form in the A and E horizons. Large and variable P-buffer capacity was

observed for the subsurface Bh and C horizons. No relationship was found between sorption-buffer

capacity and the three forms of extractable P.

[Burkart MR, Stoner JD, Burkart M (ed.), Heath R (2002) Nitrate in aquifers beneath agricultural

systems. Diffuse-non-point pollution and watershed management. Proc. 5th International Conference

on Diffuse Pollution, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 10-15 June 2001. Water Science and Technology

45: 9, 19-29] - Research from several regions of the world provides spatially anecdotal evidence to

hypothesize which hydrologic and agricultural factors contribute to groundwater vulnerability to

nitrate contamination. Analysis of nationally consistent measurements from the U.S. Geological

Survey's NAWQA program confirms these hypotheses for a substantial range of agricultural systems.

Shallow unconfined aquifers are most susceptible to nitrate contamination associated with agricultural

systems. Alluvial and other unconsolidated aquifers are the most vulnerable and shallow carbonate

aquifers provide a substantial but smaller contamination risk. Where any of these aquifers are overlain

by permeable soils the risk of contamination is larger. Irrigated systems can compound this

vulnerability by increasing leaching facilitated by additional recharge and additional nutrient

applications. The agricultural system of corn, soybeans, and hogs produced significantly larger

concentrations of groundwater nitrate than all other agricultural systems, although mean nitrate

concentrations in counties with dairy, poultry, cattle and grains, and horticulture systems were similar.

If trends in the relation between increased fertilizer use and groundwater nitrate in the United States

are repeated in other regions of the world, Asia may experience increasing problems because of recent

increases in fertilizer use. Groundwater monitoring in Western and Eastern Europe as well as Russia

over the next decade may provide data to determine if the trend in increased nitrate contamination can

be reversed. If the concentrated livestock trend in the United States is global, it may be accompanied

by increasing nitrogen contamination in groundwater. Concentrated livestock provide both point

sources in the confinement area and intense non-point sources as fields close to facilities are used for

95


manure disposal. Regions where irrigated cropland is expanding, such as in Asia, may experience the

greatest impact of this practice.

[Buxton BM, Ziegler SJ, Moore JA (1977) Implications of water quality regulations for Minnesota

Dairy processing plants. Station Bulletin, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station No. 520, 15 pp.]

- This report considers the current status of waste handling, treatment, and disposal on the Minnesota

dairy processing industry. It identifies the destination of water discharge, estimates investment and

annual costs for three alternative private waste treatment systems, and discusses the possible effects on

consumer prices of complying with effluent limitations. Results suggest that, generally, dairy plants

that use municipal waste water treatment facilities are better-off (or as well-off) cost-wise to remain

with the municipalities and pay the higher use charge than to construct their own private treatment

system. For those dairy plants located without the opportunity to use municipal waste treatment

systems, the ridge and furrow land disposal system would cost less than either the stabilization pond or

aerated lagoon-irrigation systems. Results show that for typical Minnesota dairy processing plants

production costs would be expected to increase about 2% for most manufactured dairy products. At

the retail level, price would be expected to rise from 0.3 to 0.7% to cover increased pollution control

costs.

[Cameron KC, Rate AW, Noonan MJ, Moore S, Smith NP, Kerr LE (1996) Lysimeter study of the fate

of nutrients following subsurface injection and surface application of dairy pond sludge to pasture.

Utilisation of waste organic matter. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 58: 2-3, 187-197] - The

fate of nutrients in an organic waste (dairy pond sludge) was determined after surface application and

subsurface injection into field plots on a free draining pasture soil in New Zealand. Soil monolith

lysimeters were collected from the field plots and used to monitor plant uptake and leaching losses of

N, P, and K for 2 years following a single waste application, and for 1 year following two successive

annual applications. Volatilization losses of ammonia were low due to the low ammonium-nitrogen

content of the waste and its near-neutral pH. Substantial nitrification occurred following waste

injection. Nitrate leaching losses were low, even though nitrate accumulation following nitrification

was high and macropore flow was a significant transport mechanism in the soil. The amount of nitrate

leached was consistently higher following subsurface injection compared to surface application,

although the concn and amount lost in the drainage water was still relatively low. The low leaching

losses were attributed to enhanced plant uptake of nutrients and denitrification within the soil. Pasture

plant production was increased by up to 40% following both methods of waste application

[Cassell EA, Dorioz JM, Kort RL, Hoffmann JP, Meals DW, Kirschtel D, Braun DC, Sharpley A

(1998) Modelling phosphorus dynamics in ecosystems: mass balance and dynamic simulation

approaches. Agricultural phosphorus and eutrophication. Proc. symposium, Indianapolis, USA, 5

November 1996. Journal of Environmental Quality 27: 2, 293-298] - Phosphorus (P) export from

agriculture is a major cause of eutrophication in many lake ecosystems. Human activity, hydrology,

and physicochemical and biological processes that store, transform, and transport P, define P export

patterns over time and space. An ecosystem paradigm to holistically view P dynamics within complex

watersheds is suggested. An ecosystem model of a dairy agricultural system was created within a

hierarchical compartment-flux structure of a conceptual watershed ecosystem. Mass balance

calculations with our Agriculture Ecosystem model (AEP model) describe P dynamics for the farm

system, which are driven by the amount of P stored in agricultural soils and system management

practices. Long-term P dynamics respond predominately to human interventions in watersheds and

define conditions for future generations. Model simulations suggest that long-term environmental

protection programmes should incorporate the notions of P sustainability into management decisions.

Dynamic simulation modelling is a valuable paradigm for understanding how complex watersheds

process P and for developing management perspectives and public policy to achieve goals of

environmental quality as well as economic and resource sustainability.

[Cassell E, Meals DW, Aschmann SG, Anderson DP, Rosen BH, Kort RL, Dorioz JM, Burkart M

(ed.), Heath R (2001) Use of simulation mass balance modelling to estimate phosphorus and bacteria

dynamics in watersheds. Diffuse-non-point pollution and watershed management. Proc. 5th

International Conference on Diffuse Pollution, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 10-15 June 2001. Water

Science and Technology 45: 9, 157-166] - The Watershed Ecosystem Nutrient Dynamics (WEND)

model, applied to developed watersheds with a mix of urban, agricultural, and forest land-uses,

predicted phosphorus (P) export from three watersheds; a 275000 ha dairy/urban watershed, a 77000

96


ha poultry/urban watershed, and a 23000 ha swine dominated watershed. Urban, agricultural, and

forestry activities contribute to P export in different proportions. In all cases the P imports to the

watershed exceed total export and P accumulates in watershed soils. Long-term future P export

patterns are compared for several watershed management strategies that range from encouragement of

rapid urban growth to aggressive environmental protection. The specific response of each watershed

to imposed management is unique, but management strategies designed to reduce export of P over the

long-term need to consider options that promote P input/output balance. Using this same approach,

Watershed Ecosystem Bacterial Dynamics (WEBD) model assesses the dynamics of bacterial

populations in a small case-study watershed over an annual cycle as influenced by dairy farm

management actions. WEND and WEBD models integrate the diversity of activities and stakeholders

interested in the watershed and promote development of a more holistic understanding of watershed

function. Model outputs are designed to assist watershed policy-makers, managers, and planners to

explore potential future impacts of management/policy decisions.

[Cassells SM, Meister AD (2001) Cost and trade impacts of environmental regulations: effluent

control and the New Zealand dairy sector. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource

Economics 45: 2, 257-274] - New Zealand legislation sets standards for water quality. Nitrogen

leaching from dairy effluent compromises these standards, with the consequent move being toward

land-based effluent disposal. The cost of this to the dairy sector was estimated and a Computable

General Equilibrium model was used to investigate the impact of additional production costs on New

Zealand's dairy export trade. Two scenarios were analysed: first, New Zealand acts unilaterally in

imposing water quality regulations; second, the other principal dairy exporters act in a similar fashion.

Changes in trade patterns vary from insignificant to large, depending on the scenario analysed.

[Cooper CM, Testa S III, Knight SS, Campbell KL (ed.), Graham WD (ed.), Bottcher AB (1994)

Preliminary effectiveness of constructed wetlands for dairy waste treatment. Environmentally sound

agriculture: Proc. Second Conference, 20-22 April 1994, Orlando, Florida. Pp. 439-445; ASAE

Publication No. 04-94] - During the past two decades the beneficial role of wetland ecosystems for

improving water quality has been thoroughly documented. Recent research interest have begun to

focus on applied uses of natural and constructed wetlands in the area of waste processing. Processing

and disposing of concentrated on-farm animal waste, a major water quality concern, is a primary focus

of the Soil Conservation Service and regulatory agencies. A constructed wetland for treatment of

dairy waste water was built in DeSoto County, MS during 1990 by the Soil Conservation Service and

the Agricultural Research Service. Three parallel wetland cells planted with giant bulrush (Scirpus

validus) were monitored for eighteen parameters. Measures of physical and chemical water quality,

BOD, and coliform bacteria were recorded, and average seasonal nutrient-trapping efficiencies were

calculated. Total phosphorus reduction ranged from 42% to 87%, and ammonia was reduced 76% to

96% by treatment. Nitrate trapping varied from -278% to 40%; negative efficiency was due to

conversion of ammonia to nitrate. Biological oxygen demand decreased more than 70%.

Accumulation of senescent plant biomass in the treatment cells after two growing seasons caused

reduced growth of bulrushes in some areas, suggesting a biomass removal strategy be implemented to

maintain the culture. Constructed wetlands have considerable potential as cost-effective on-farm

waste management systems. Further research is needed to evaluate their long-term effectiveness and

range of applicability.

[Cooperband LR and Good LW (2002) Biogenic phosphate minerals in manure: implications for

phosphorus loss to surface waters. Environmental Science & Technology 36(23): 5075-5082] – P is

present in waterways throughout USA at concentrations that impair water quality. Agriculture is

major cause. Excess manure applied to croplands has increased P losses in runoff, leading to surface

water eutrophication. Poultry and dairy manure differ in that poultry manure contains sparinglysoluble

Ca and Mg phosphate minerals that control soil P solution concentrations, while dairy manure

did not. The findings refute the assumption that all manure behaves similarly in soil and that organic

forms control manure-soil P loss to water.

[Cronk JK (1996) Constructed wetlands to treat wastewater from dairy and swine operations: a review.

Utilisation of waste organic matter. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 58: 2-3, 97-114] -

Constructed wetlands are under study as a best management practice to treat animal waste water from

dairy and swine operations. Preliminary results are promising when wetlands are a component of a

farm-wide waste management plan, but they are ineffective without pre-treatment of the waste water.

97


The feasibility of constructed wetlands varies with waste characteristics and climate. While the cost of

wetland construction is low, the site must be maintained in order for the initial investment in the

wetland to be worthwhile. In addition, several design iterations may be necessary before effective

treatment is obtained. The design of animal waste water treatment wetlands is still being researched

and a number of the present projects will help provide recommendations for the use of constructed

wetlands at animal operations.

[Daufin G, Escudier JP, Carrere H, Berot S, Fillaudeau L, Decloux M (2001) Recent and emerging

applications of membrane processes in the food and dairy industry. Food and Bioproducts Processing

79: C2, 89-102] - Membrane processes have been major tools in food processing for more than 25

years. The main applications of membrane operations are in the dairy industry (whey protein

concentration, milk protein standardization, etc.), followed by beverages (wine, beer, fruit juices, etc.)

and egg products. Clarification of fruit, vegetable and sugar juices by micro-filtration or ultrafiltration

allows the flow sheets to be simplified or the processes made cleaner and the final product quality

improved. In the milk and dairy industry, bacteria removal and milk globular fat fractionation using

cross-flow micro-filtration for the production of drinking milk and cheese milk are reported. Crossflow

micro-filtration (0.1 µm) makes it possible to achieve the separation of skim milk micellar casein

and soluble proteins. Both product streams are given high added value in cheese making (retentate)

through fractionation and isolation of soluble proteins (beta-lactoglobulin; alpha-lactalbumin)

(permeate). At last, a large field of applications is emerging for the treatment of individual process

streams at source for water and technical fluids re-use, and end-of-pipe treatment of wastewaters,

while reducing sludge production and improving the final purified water quality.

[Di HJ, Cameron KC (2002) Nitrate leaching and pasture production from different nitrogen sources

on a shallow stoney soil under flood-irrigated dairy pasture. Australian Journal of Soil Research 40:

2, 317-334] - The leaching of NO 3 in intensive agricultural production systems, e.g. dairy pastures, is a

major environmental concern in many countries. In this lysimeter study, we determined the amount of

NO3- leached following the application of urea, dairy effluent, urine returns, and pasture renovation to

a free-draining Lismore stony silt loam (Udic Haplustept loamy skeletal) growing a mixture of

perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and white clover (Trifolium repens) pasture. NO 3 -N leaching

losses ranged from 112 to 162 kg N ha-1 year-1, depending on the amount and forms of N applied and

pasture conditions. Nitrate leaching under the urine patches was the main contributor to the N

leaching loss in a grazed paddock. Nitrate leaching losses were lower for urine applied in the spring

(29% of N applied) than for urine applied in the autumn (38-58%). The application of urea or dairy

effluent only contributed a small proportion to the total NO 3 leaching loss in a grazed paddock.

Pasture renovation by direct-drilling may also have caused an increase in NO 3 leaching (_31 kg N ha-

1) in the first year. Modelled annual average NO 3 -N concentrations in the mixed recharge water in the

acquifer were significantly lower than those measured under the rooting zone, due to dilution effects

by recharge water from other sources (3.9 vs. 13-27 mg N/L. Herbage N off-take and dry matter yield

were higher in the urine treatments than in the non-urine treatments.

[Di HJ, Cameron KC, Moore S, Smith NP (1998) Nitrate leaching from dairy shed effluent and

ammonium fertiliser applied to a free-draining pasture soil under spray or flood irrigation. New

Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 41: 2, 263-270] - The potential for groundwater pollution

by dairy shed effluent (DSE) and ammonium N fertiliser (NH 4 Cl) was assessed by measuring nitrate

leaching from 16 large soil lysimeters (80 cm diam. X 120 cm depth). Each lysimeter was located in

Canterbury, New Zealand, with established perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and white clover

(Trifolium repens) pasture plants. DSE and NH 4 Cl were applied at 400 kg N/ha per year, in two split

applications of 200 kg N/ha. During the summer, each lysimeter received either spray (50 mm/month)

or flood (100 mm/month) irrigation. During the winter, the natural rainfall received was supplemented

with simulated rainfall in order to reach the 75th percentile of local rainfall records for the winter

period. The concentration of nitrate in the leachate reached 5 mg N/L under both flood and spray

irrigation following the first N fertiliser application (Dec 1995), but did not increase above control

values (


of soil solution nitrate by the larger volume of irrigation water applied. Enhanced denitrification from

the higher moisture content in the flood/DSE treatment resulted in a smaller N leaching loss compared

with the spray/DSE treatment. The amount of total mineral N (nitrate, ammonium, and nitrite) leached

was smaller from the DSE than from the N fertiliser.

[Dickey EC, Vanderholm DH, ASAE (ed.) (1981) Performance and design of vegetative filters for

feedlot runoff treatment. Livestock waste: a renewable resource. pp. 257-260 (American Society of

Agricultural Engineers; St. Joseph, Michigan; USA] - Vegetative filters can reduce nutrients, solids,

and oxygen demanding materials from feedlot runoff by over 80 and 95% on a concentration and

weight basis, respectively. Proposed design criteria developed for overland flow and channelized flow

systems are presented. Channelized flow systems appear less effective than overland flow systems,

requiring a much greater flow length for a similar degree of treatment. For winter runoff and

snowmelt conditions, dormant residues left on the filter have proved to be an effective filtering and

settling mechanism.

[Dillaha TA, Sherrard JH, Lee D, Mostaghimi S, Shanholtz VO (1988) Evaluation of vegetative filter

strips as a best management practice for feed lots. Journal Water Pollution Control Federation 60: 7,

1231-1238] - Vegetative filter strips (VFS) as an effective best management practice for the control of

some nonpoint source pollutants were studied. Field experiments, designed to investigate the transport

of sediment, nitrogen, and phosphate from areas of confined livestock activity, as influenced by flow

characteristics and filter strip length, were conducted in Virginia, USA. Simulated rainfall was

applied to bare soil plots with 4.6 and 9.1 m long VFS at the lower end of the plots. Dairy manure was

applied at rates of 7.5 and 15 t/ha, and simulating feedlot conditions. The 9.1 and 4.6 m VFS removed

91 and 81% of the incoming sediment, respectively. However, the long and short filters removed only

69 and 58% of the applied P and 74 and 64% of the applied N, respectively. Soluble N and P entering

the VFS was 15 and 8% of the respective totals. After passage through the filters, soluble N and P

increased to 26 and 19%, respectively of the influent N and P loading. Filters with concentrated flow

were 40-60%, 70-95% and 61-70% less effective with respect to sediment, P, and N removal, resp.,

than were uniform flow plots.

[Dou Z, Toth JD, Allshouse R, Ramberg CF, Ferguson JD, Moore JA (2000) Phosphorus fraction

distributions in animal manure. Animal, agricultural and food processing wastes. Proc. Eighth

International Symposium, Des Moines, Iowa, USA, 9-11 October, 2000. pp. 1-9 (American Society of

Agricultural Engineers; St Joseph; USA)] - Managing animal manure for reduced P losses and

improved water quality presents a major challenge in many areas of the USA. A sequential extraction

procedure for determining P fraction distributions in manure samples including dairy, swine, and

broiler poultry, with various manure handling systems, was conducted. The procedure features

extracting a manure sample with deionized water repeatedly until the water soluble P is exhausted,

followed by repeated similar extractions with 0.5 M NaHCO3, 0.1 M NaOH and 1.0 M HCl.

Regardless of manure type or source, water soluble P is the largest single fraction, accounting for 39 to

94% of the total extractable P. Inorganic P dominates the total extractable P with a minimum of 63%

and a maximum of 98%. Phosphorus release through repeated 1 h shaking and extraction follows a

general pattern of rapid decrease as the number of repetitions increases. A simple extraction of 1 h

shaking with water removed at least 30% of the water soluble P fraction or 16% of the total extractable

P. There were some differences in P fraction distributions across animal species, for example the

swine and broiler poultry samples exhibited relatively higher proportions of NaHCO3 and HClextractable

fractions than the dairy manures. Moreover, some manure storage and handling practices

resulted in changed P fraction distributions with decreases in water soluble P and increases in the less

vulnerable fractions.

[Doss BD, Lund ZF, Long FL, Mugwira L (1976) Dairy cattle waste management: its effect on forage

production and runoff water quality. Bulletin, Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University

No.485, 39 pp.] - Rates of dairy cattle manure of 10 and 20 tons per acre incorporated into the surface

6 inches of soil had no detrimental effect on soil properties. The pearl millet and rye forage produced

were of good quality. When rates exceeded 20 tons per acre, forage was high in nitrate-N and had

K/(Ca+Mg) ratios that could be detrimental to animal health. When high rates of manure were used,

Dothan soil produced rye forage with higher nitrate-N contents than did Lucedale and Decatur soils,

but millet forage on Decatur soil had nitrate-N contents as high as on Dothan soil. Rates of 40 tons and

above produced tetany-prone forage having K/(Ca+Mg) ratios above the 2.2 critical level, except for

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ye on Decatur soil. The K/(Ca+Mg) ratios were generally higher for the first harvest. Incorporating

manure at 20 tons per acre into the top 6 inches of Norfolk sandy loam for 3 consecutive years had

little effect on the nitrate-N or ammonium-N concentration of runoff water or on soil properties. Total

N lost in runoff water was greatest when rainfall and runoff were highest. After the first year there

was less runoff water from manured plots than from check plots. Nitrate-N increased in the manured

soil profile, but the top 36 inches contained an amount only equivalent to that removed by one millet

crop. Organic-N increased only to the depth of manure incorporation.

[Ejaz MS, Peralta RC (1995) Modeling for optimal management of agricultural and domestic

wastewater loading to streams. Water Resources Research 31: 4, 1087-1096] - A

simulation/optimization model to aid managing multi-objective waste water loading to streams while

maintaining adequate downstream water quality is presented. The conflicting objectives are to max.

the human and dairy cattle populations from which treated waste water can be discharged to the river

system. Municipal waste water undergoes primary and secondary treatment by a sewerage treatment

plant before entering at a steady point source. Dairy waste water is treated by overland flow (OLF)

land treatment before entering the stream as a controlled steady diffuse source. Max. dual-source

loading strategies which do not degrade downstream water quality beyond specific limits were

developed. For each computed loading strategy, an opt. OLF system design was also determined. The

E constraint method is used to obtain sets on non-inferior solutions. Sets of non-inferior solutions are

represented graphically to show the trade-off between human and bovine populations that can be

maintained. Each set is computed for a different upstream flow rate to illustrate sensitivity to nondeterministic

upstream flow rates. The non-linear constraints utilized restrict downstream

concentration of 5-day biochemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, N (organic, ammonia, nitrite

and nitrate), organic and dissolved P, and chlorophyll a. Concentration are described via regression

equations. The new regression expressions, surrogates for the complex advective-dispersive equation,

permit rapid and feasible solutions by this model.

[EPA (1995) Protecting water quality in Central Gippsland. Schedule F5 – waters of the Latrobe and

Thompson River Basins and Merriman Creek Catchment and Draft Policy Impact Assessment.

Environmental Protection Authority, Report No. 44, Melbourne, Australia] - Nutrient enrichment of

surface waters contributes to the increasing incidence of cyanobacteria blooms and other less noxious

blooms of algal species in SE Australia.

[Fleming NK, Cox JW, Chittleborough DJ, Dyson CB (2001) An analysis of chemical loads and forms

in overland flow from dairy pasture in South Australia. Hydrological Processes 15: 3, 393-405] - Two

adjacent sub-catchments on soils with very strong texture contrast between the A soil horizons (sandy

loam texture) and B soil horizons (clay texture) in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia were

instrumented to collect overland and subsurface flow from dairy pasture. Sub-catchments were

defined by exclusion drains in the upper reaches and stainless steel barriers at the lower boundary.

Water samples were analysed for 20 different chemical fractions. Chemical loads were examined in

order to determine relationships among simple empirical event and site characteristics, and between

chemical fractions. All but five of the chemical fractions could be separated into one of two clear

groups using a statistical technique based on the magnitude of simple correlation coefficients. The

two groups consisted of either dissolved or particulate fractions. The clear separation into these

groups is consistent with the majority of chemical fractions moving from pasture by one of only two

processes. Simple empirical variables in a multiple regression explained a high proportion of variation

in chemical loads in runoff water. These findings may have major implications in the modelling and

prediction of chemical loads in runoff from agricultural catchments and the setting of environmental

limits, in simplifying chemical loss predictions by adding a nutrient loss module to runoff volume

predictions.

[Foy RH, Kirk M (1995) Agriculture and water quality: a regional study. Journal of the Institution of

Water and Environmental Management 9: 3, 247-256] - Water quality, measured on a fisheries

ecosystem scale of 1 (good/salmonid) to 6 (bad/fish absent), of forty-two lowland streams in two

Northern Ireland river catchments was inversely correlated with the stocking rate of grazing animals.

A decrease in water quality of one class was associated with an increase in the combined

grazing/stocking rate of cattle and sheep of 0.6 dairy cow equivalents/ha. This dairy cow equivalent

stocking rate was significantly correlated with maximum BOD and total ammonium N concn and

minimum dissolved-oxygen levels. The worst pollution events, with BOD concn > 100 mg/L occurred

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at the end of May and were caused by discharges of silage effluent. Smaller BOD peaks, which

occurred in late winter and early spring, were related to the land spreading of animal slurries. Poultry

and pig farms were not having a major impact on water quality

[Geohring LD, McHugh OV, Walter MT, Steenhuis TS, Akhtar MS, Walter MF (2001) Phosphorus

transport into subsurface drains by macropores after manure applications: implications for best manure

management practices. Soil Science 166: 12, 896-909] - Land application of liquid manure can result

in nutrient enrichment of subsurface drainage effluent when conditions promote leaching or macropore

flow. This contamination is most likely to occur when precipitation follows manure application

closely and may cause environmental impacts to receiving waters. Field and column studies were

initiated in New York, USA to investigate the impact of manure applications on phosphorus (P)

transport through the soil into subsurface drains. Field studies evaluated tile effluent contamination

from liquid manure under wet and dry antecedent soil moisture conditions (year 1) and under disc and

plough tillage practices (year 2). In year 1, liquid dairy manure was broadcast on the surface and the

field was then irrigated. Though the tile drains in the wet plots flowed much earlier and in greater

volume than the drains in the dry plots, both wet and dry plots produced similar average peak total

phosphorus (TP) concentrations. Irrigation 6 days later produced similar tile discharges, but the peak

TP concentrations were about one-third of the earlier values. Cumulative TP loss was significantly

higher from wet than dry plots. In year 2, manure was tilled into the soil via one-pass discing or

ploughing before irrigation commenced. The discing did not incorporate the manure into the soil as

effectively as did ploughing and exhibited one order of magnitude higher effluent TP concentrations

and cumulative TP loss. The timing of P transport in tile effluent relative to the tile flow is consistent

with macropore transport as the primary mechanism moving TP through the soil. Column studies

utilizing packed soil and artificial macropores were used to examine further the role of macropore size

on P sorption to pore walls. Dissolved P was added directly to the macropore, and the effluent from

the macropore showed that soluble P may be transported through macropores 1 mm or greater with

negligible P sorption to pore walls. In the absence of macropores, no measurable P was transported

through the soil columns. Consequently, high P concentrations observed in the tile drain effluent soon

after manure application during the field studies can be attributed to macropore transport processes.

Even small continuous macropores are potential pathways. Ploughing-in manure apparently disturbs

these macropores and promotes matrix flow, resulting in greatly reduced P concentrations in the

drainage effluent.

[Giffney AR (1985) Land application. Agricultural Waste Manual, New Zealand Agricultural

Engineering Institute 7-1-7-29 (Lincoln College; Canterbury; New Zealand)] - The land application of

effluent from dairy, pig and poultry units is examined in terms of its properties and nutrient value, and

the methods for its disposal on the land. Nutrient and hydraulic loading criteria, and fertiliser

properties with reference to the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles, are examined. The design of a land

application system is considered; manure spreading equipment includes single sprinkler sprays,

multiple sprinkler spray lines, travelling irrigation, border dyke irrigation, slurry and solids spreaders,

injector lines. The management operation involves pasture palatability, application frequency, weeds,

clover suppression, turf pulling, salinity, and maintenance. The environmental impact is examined for

water pollution, nitrate levels in water, disease organisms, aerosols and buffer zones.

[Gruber L, Steinwidder A (1996) Influence of nutrition on nitrogen and phosphorus excretion of

livestock - model calculations on the basis of a literature review. Bodenkultur 47: 4, 255-277] - In

milk production, excretion of slurry and N increases with increasing feed intake, milk yield and milk

protein content. Amount of slurry/unit forage area decreases with increasing forage quality, as the

number of cows that can be fed/hectare decreases because of lower yield under Alpine growing

conditions and higher forage intake. Depending on milk yield and forage quality, N excretions

between 90 and 180 kg/ha forage can be expected. By comparison amount of N excreted in

specialized bull finishing systems is up to 2.5 times higher because their diet consists of forage maize

which has higher yields. N excretion/ha forage maize increases with increasing daily gains. Amount

of P excreted/cow annually increases with increasing milk yield, from 8.9 to 10.8 and to 12.7 kg at

milk yields of 4000, 6000 and 8000 kg, respectively, when P is supplied according to requirements.

As with milk production, P excretion increases with improved performance due to a higher proportion

of purchased feeds, in the case of bull finishing. In addition to level of supply, animal performance

and stocking rate, utilization of P in different feed sources has a substantial impact on excretions. The

results show that nutrient returns to the soil from animal production correspond approximately to

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emovals by plants under balanced situations of production (fertilization, stocking rate, purchase of

concentrates). Increased crop yields and improved animal performance brought about by purchased

feeds lead to excessive and therefore complicated nutrient returns.

[Harter T, Davis H, Mathews MC, Meyer RD (2002) Shallow groundwater quality on dairy farms with

irrigated forage crops. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 55(3-4): 287-315] – California’s dairies are

the largest confined animal industry in the State. Most dairies have an average herd of nearly 1000

animals and are located in low-relief valleys and basins. Large amounts of liquid manure are

generated and applied via flood or furrow irrigation to forage crops that are grown almost year-round.

What of salt and nitrate leaching to shallow groundwater? Average groundwater concentrations were

64 mg/L in the dairies v. 24 in shallow wells upgradient from the dairies. Average EC levels were

1.9mS/cm within and 0.8 upgradient. Nitrate did not vary much across the management units. EC

levels were higher below ponds than in fields, indicating leaching from the ponds. The estimated

minimum ave annual leaching of no3-N and salt from the manure-treated fields (representing the

largest land area of the dairy) was 280 and 4300 kg/ha, respectively. Unless properly managed, this

represents a threat to groundwater in regions where dairies overly alluvial aquifers.

[Ham JM, DeSutter TM (2000) Toward site-specific design standards for animal-waste lagoons:

protecting ground water quality. Journal of Environmental Quality 29: 6, 1721-1732] - Seepage losses

from animal-waste lagoons can affect groundwater quality, if facilities are not properly sited,

designed, and constructed. Most states in the US Great Plains stipulate that earthen lagoons cannot

seep more than some specified rate (mm d-1). These criteria often apply to the entire state and all

livestock species, although groundwater vulnerability and waste characteristics are highly variable

from site to site. Because of this variability, statewide 'blanket' regulations may over-regulate some

producers and under-regulate others. Furthermore, wide disparity exists in seepage allowances among

neighbouring States, and regulations often are influenced by public opinion rather than scientific

findings. This paper argues that lagoon design should be site specific and presents a logical

framework to determine the maximum allowable seepage rate for a given location and type of

operation (e.g. dairy, swine, cattle feedlot). Site-specific factors, such as soil properties, depth to

water table, and chemistry of the waste, are used to arrive at lagoon performance standards that

minimize long-term risk. The decision process within the framework is presented as a conceptual

model for lagoon permitting and may need to be customized to meet the requirements of each State.

Nevertheless, use of site-specific design criteria will ensure that manure storages are adequate (e.g.

plastic-lined lagoons) in regions with vulnerable groundwater, while providing reduced lagoon

construction costs (lower cost of soil-lined lagoons) for producers who site their operations in areas of

low risk. To complement the site-specific approach, the whole-lagoon seepage rate should be

measured after construction to verify that the prescribed performance criteria have been met.

[Hayman D (1989) Subsurface drainage contamination with milkhouse wastewater-an environmental

concern. Toxic Substances in Agricultural Water Supply and Drainage, 2nd Pan-American ICID

Regional Conference, 1989. pp. 209-218 (Denver, USA; US Committee, International Commission on

Irrigation and Drainage)] - The major agricultural sources contributing to the poor downstream water

quality in Ontario's Upper Thames River watershed at Pittock Reservoir have been identified as: (1)

overland runoff of sediment and associated nutrients and chemicals; (2) uncontained manure and

feedlot runoff; (3) livestock access to open water; and, (4) contaminated subsurface drainage. The

unexpected result was the regular occurrence of contaminated effluent from tile outlets. Nearly half of

all tile-drain outlets in the 1.65 km 2 sub-basin indicated poor effluent quality, particularly in wet

weather conditions. Field investigations found over 80% of the dairy operations used subsurface

drainage to dispose of wash water from the milkhouse. Sampling of milkhouse wash water suggests a

significant amount of phosphorus, mostly in the reactive form, is discharged annually to subsurface

drainage. These results suggest that proper milkhouse waste treatment in the Lake Erie basin could

bring about a 200 tonne reduction in phosphorus loading to the lake.

[Hickey CW, Quinn JM, Davies Colley RJ (1989) Effluent characteristics of dairy shed oxidation

ponds and their potential impacts on rivers. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater

Research 23: 4, 569-584] - Effluent characteristics of 11 cow shed oxidation ponds designed to

national specifications were examined. Measurements covering a wide range of parameters were

made monthly over at least 1 yr in ponds from 2 regions (Manawatu and Southland) and covering 2

types of farms: town milk supply (non-seasonal) and dairy factory (seasonal). There was considerable

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variation in effluent composition within ponds with time and between different ponds. BOD concn.

(overall median 98 g/m 3 ; 3-fold range of individual pond medians) showed less variation between

ponds than suspended solids (SS) concn. (median 198 g/m 3 ; 9-fold range). Available nutrient levels

were very high (e.g. an overall median of 12.2 g/m 3 for dissolved reactive phosphorus and 75.0 g/m3

for ammonia (NH 4 -N)). The ammonia represents a 4-fold higher level of potential oxygen demand

than the measured BOD. Faecal coliforms showed large variability both within and between ponds,

with higher levels in town milk supply ponds. Differences in pond effluent characteristics could not

be attributed to influent loading as a percentage of design or to the significant temp. difference

between regions. Maintenance of receiving water concn. below existing criteria for 95% of the time

would require >2700-fold dilution for faecal coliforms (bathing criterion), >67-fold dilution for

coliforms (post-treatment drinking criterion) and >2700-fold dilution to prevent nuisance levels of

algal proliferations below discharges. Most uses are accommodated provided dilution exceeds 250-

fold, requiring a min. stream flow of 0.058 m 3 /s for a 220-cow herd.

[Hill CM, Duxbury J, Geohring L, Peck T, Klove B (ed.), Maehlum T (2000) Designing constructed

wetlands to remove phosphorus from barnyard runoff: a comparison of four alternative substrates.

Special issue: Ecological engineering: On-site wastewater treatment and re-use in constructed

wetlands and filter media. Papers presented at the Fourth International Conference on Ecological

Engineering: Managing the wastewater resource. June 7-11, 1999, As, Norway. Journal of

Environmental Science and Health. Part-A, Toxic Hazardous Substances and Environmental

Engineering 35: 8, 1357-1375] - While constructed wetlands can be a cost-effective method for

reducing the export of P from agricultural ecosystems, removal rates vary widely. The objective of

this research was to evaluate substrates that could consistently improve P treatment in these wetlands.

Eight 55 m2 subsurface wetland cells on an 800-head dairy farm in Newark, New York, USA, were

built to test alternative substrates for removing soluble P from dairy barnyard runoff. The four media

were: a fine loamy, mixed, mesic Glossic Hapludalf, crushed limestone, Norlite, lightweight coarse

aggregates of fired shale, and wollastonite (calcium metasilicate) mining tailings. Based on this

research, Norlite was recommended for P removal in agricultural ecosystems. The native soil retained

more soluble P but could not sustain subsurface flow. Wollastonite tailings adsorbed 2 mg P/g in the

laboratory but performed less well in the field, as a result of preferential flow.

[Hochman E, Zilberman D, Just R (1977) Internalization in a stochastic pollution model. Moffitt J,

Siebert J, Zilberman D, Just R, Hochman E: Water quality versus production: the case of the dairy

industry in the Santa Ana River Basin. Water Resources Research 13: 6, 877-881] - This paper

develops and applies a stochastic model for internalizing pollution externalities. Pollution depends on

factors related to a stochastic environment and human error, but the probability of pollution can be

altered by adopting various technologies. The model is applied to the problem of effluent runoff from

dairies near the San Francisco Bay, which can prevent shellfish harvest in the bay. With runoff

holding areas, pollution occurs if a rainstorm is severe enough to cause overflow. Standards rather

than taxes are used as policy instruments in the model. Results generally indicate that an accurate

approximation of stochastic distribution is a necessity. Specific implications for the dairy problem are

that present regulations are too lenient.

[Hollon BF, Owen JR (1981) The effect on water quality of discharging dairy feedlot effluent into a

stream. Tennessee Farm and Home Science No. 120, 20-23] - For 22 months water in a stream

receiving waste water from a 200-cow dairy cattle feedlot was sampled weekly at 2 points above and 3

points 300-3900 ft below the points of discharge. Counts of faecal coli and streptococci, BOD and

orthophosphates concn. all decreased significantly (P < 0.01) in water between 300 and 3900 ft

downstream; the extent of most other pollution parameters also decreased and water quality at this

point was not different from that above the discharge point. Only faecal coliform count at 300 and

1600 ft downstream exceeded the max. permissible level proposed by the US Environmental

Protection Agency.

[Hollon BF, Owen JR (1982) Use of a grassed waterway system for treatment of dairy feedlot runoff.

Tennessee Farm and Home Science No. 121, 29-32] - A 1000 X 20 ft grassed waterway was evaluated

as a treatment area for surface runoff from a 200-cow dairy feedlot operation. Water quality was

evaluated in a stream at points 1000 ft above and 300 ft below the discharge point of the waterway,

and wells were drilled for testing groundwater at various points from 300 ft above and 900 ft below

entry of runoff into the waterway. Mean concn. of 10 water quality parameters (chemical and

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microbiological) did not differ significantly between the 2 sampling points in the stream. Higher

levels (P


monitored over a 6 month period. The system performed as intended with all applied wastewater

infiltrating within the treatment area. The wastewater application had a minimal impact on

groundwater quality, however, groundwater concentrations of Cl were increased over background

conditions.

[Jellison KL, Hemond HF, Schauer DB (2002) Sources and species of Cryptosporidium oocysts in the

Wachusett Reservoir watershed. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 68: 2, 569-575] -

Understanding the behaviour of Cryptosporidium oocysts in the environment is critical for developing

improved watershed management practices for protection of the public from waterborne

cryptosporidiosis. Molecular and environmental data identify both wildlife and dairy farms as sources

of oocysts in the watershed

[Jennings GD, Line DE, Coffey SW, Spooner J, White, NM, Harman,WA, Burris MA (1995) Water

quality and land treatment in the Long Creek Watershed project. Clean water - clean environment -

21st century: team agriculture - working to protect water resources. Volume 3: practices, systems &

adoption. Proceedings Kansas City, Missouri, USA, 5-8 March 1995. 159-162 (Pub. American

Society of Agricultural Engineers] - The Long Creek Watershed Project in North Carolina, USA, was

initiated in 1993 to monitor the effects of nonpoint source pollution control measures on water quality.

Land treatment practices included nutrient management, animal waste management, soil erosion

control, and streambank protection in agricultural and urban areas. Water quality monitoring was

conducted at a dairy farm to evaluate waste management and riparian protection practices, on cropland

to evaluate nutrient and waste management practices, and at a municipal water supply intake to

evaluate sediment control. Results indicate consistent water quality degradation caused by nonpoint

source runoff and the need for targeted nonpoint source management systems to address the problems.

[Jennings GD, Line DE, Harman WA (1998) Monitoring evaluation of a created riparian zone on a

dairy farm. Annual International Meeting, Orlando, Florida, USA, 12-16 July, 1998. 6 pp.; ASAE

Paper no. 982105 (American Society of Agricultural Engineers; St Joseph; USA)] - Monitoring results

to evaluate the effectiveness of a riparian BMP system in a dairy pasture in Gaston County, North

Carolina, USA, are presented. Components of the riparian BMP system include livestock exclusion,

alternative water supply, stream crossings, vegetative bank stabilization, and tree planting. Weekly

grab samples and storm event samples downstream of the buffer indicate annual pollutant load

reductions for total sediment, total suspended sediment, total phosphorus, total kjeldahl nitrogen, and

nitrate plus nitrite were 80, 80, 72, 71, and 40%, respectively. Median faecal coliform and faecal

streptococci bacteria concentrations were reduced by 90%.

[Jones DL 1999) Potential health risks associated with the persistence of Escherichia coli O157 in

agricultural environments. Soil Use and Management 15: 2, 76-83] - Escherichia coli serotype O157

is a virulent human pathogen the global incidence of which has increased. Cattle are the primary

reservoir of this pathogen. This has serious implications for the land-based disposal of organic wastes

such as cattle manure, cattle slurry and abattoir waste and for the protection of surface and

groundwater drinking supplies and public access to pasture land. E. coli O157 can remain viable in

soil for more than 4 months and is a highly resilient pathogen possessing the capability to adapt easily

to environmental stresses. There is evidence that human infection has occurred through the ingestion

of contaminated soil, fruit and vegetables and drinking water.

[Jones JH, Olsen FJ, Joost RE, Rushing KA (1980) Utilization of a vegetative-soil filter for liquid

dairy waste disposal. Agronomy Abstracts. 72nd annual meeting, American Society of Agronomy 29

(Madison, Wisconsin, USA)] - A field study was conducted in 1978-9 to evaluate the effectiveness of

a rotational tall fescue cv. Ky 31 and reed canarygrass vegetative-soil filter for the disposal of liquid

dairy waste. The soil was Hosmer fine silt. The BOD5, PO4-3-P, NO3-N and suspended solids were

greatly reduced by flowing over the vegetative-soil filter, although the levels far exceeded the Illinois

Pollution Control Board Standards. This indicates that the effluent should be confined to a designated

area for soil absorption. Water runoff from the experimental sites did not appear to be a major

pollution problem. The soil was a very good purifier of the absorbed effluent. Reed canarygrass was

a better suited grass than tall fescue for a vegetative filter as it withstood wet soil conditions and weed

encroachment.

[Jones JH, Olsen FJ, Patterson JJ, Rushing KA (1984) The pollution potential of rainfall runoff from a

dairy liquid waste disposal site. Agricultural Wastes 10: 3, 177-186] - The ability of a vegetative-soil

105


filter to stabilize applied dairy manure waste was studied in a field study conducted at Southern

Illinois University Dairy Center, Carbondale, Illinois, to evaluate the pollution potential of rainfall

runoff, perched groundwater pollution and design criteria. Dairy liquid waste was applied daily, but

alternated weekly to sites of reed canarygrass and tall fescue on Hosmer silt loam soil with a 3% eastfacing

slope. The highest loading rate for saturated soil conditions was 0.54 cm/day (5.4 l m-2 day-1).

Pollutants of the liquid dairy waste were decreased significantly, but not to acceptable levels, by

flowing over the vegetative-soil filter to a distance of 30 m. Soil was a good purifier for the liquid

effluent. During rainfall av. BOD5 and PO4-P were decreased 96.3 and 97.1%, resp., after flowing 25

m beyond the filter area. However, these water quality parameters still exceeded the standard criteria.

In a practical design situation, increasing the distance from the vegetative-soil filter would result in

improved runoff water quality by dilution. A vegetative-soil filter can be an inexpensive and effective

means for the disposal of liquid dairy waste.

[Kelly S, Moore JA, Gamroth M, Myrold DD, Baumeister N (1991) Movement of nitrogen from land

application of dairy manure on pasture. Nonpoint source pollution: the unfinished agenda for the

protection of our water quality – Proc. from the technical session of the regional conference Tacoma,

Washington March 20 - 21. pp. 251-260 (Washington State University)] - Nitrogen movements

through six different pathways were measured from pasture plots with manure application rates of

150, 300, and 450 lbs-N/ac-yr with three replicates each. Three soil types in two different climates in

Oregon, USA, were selected for the two year study conducted in 1990 and again in 1991. The six

pathways measured are volatilization, denitrification, runoff, deep leaching, plant uptake, and

additions to the soil system. Nitrate and ammonium concn in the runoff water ranged from 1.8-0.0

mg/L NO3 and 1.5-0.8 mg/L NH4. Nitrate concn in the soil water ranged from 0.1 to 1.3 mg/L.

Denitrification rates ranged from 0.7 lbs-N/ac to 9.2 lbs/ac for a 30 day period. Nitrogen yields from

the plots receiving 300 lbs-N/ac-yr were equal to the plots receiving 450 lbs-N/ac-yr. Volatilization of

ammonia from manure accounted for as much as 35% of the applied nitrogen. This paper presents the

techniques used for measurement and the results from the first year of this study.

[Kern J (1997) Reed bed systems for wastewater treatment from agricultural operations. Landtechnik

52: 3, 146-147] - Reed bed systems allow for ecologically friendly and low-cost decentralized waste

water treatment. They enable heavily polluted waste waters from different agricultural processes (e.g.

milking house waste water, cheese-making dairy waste water) to be purified to outfall ditch quality.

With appropriate process design, organic compounds, nitrogen, phosphorus and faecal-coliform

bacteria can be removed from the sewage. Problems such as nitrate leaching to the groundwater and

the eutrophication of rivers and lakes can be effectively counteracted

[Kern J, Idler C, Tanner CD (ed.), Raisin G (ed.), Ho G (ed.), Mitsch WJ (1999) Treatment of

domestic and agricultural wastewater by reed bed systems. Special issue: Constructed and natural

wetlands for pollution control. Ecological Engineering 12: 1-2, 13-25] - The purification capacity and

seasonal variability of two newly created reed bed systems consisting of two parallel reed beds,

planted with Phragmites australis, in Grossbeeren, near Berlin, Germany, was monitored over 1 year.

In one of the systems, treating domestic wastewater, the reduction in the concentrations of chemical

oxygen demand (COD), total N, total P and faecal coliform bacteria (FC) ranged from 80 to 99%. In

the second system, treating a mixture of domestic and agricultural wastewater produced by a cheese

dairy, treatment efficiency ranged between 13 and 99%. The removal rates did not show any seasonal

pattern for domestic wastewater, in contrast to the mixture of domestic and agricultural wastewater

with increased removal rates in the summer. In both reed bed systems the Most Probable Number of

proteolytic bacteria, ammonifiers, nitrifiers and denitrifiers (per g DW gravel substrate) were of the

orders of magnitude of 104-106, 105-107, 101-105 and 0-103, respectively. On the basis of the

microbial assemblage, there is a need to improve the conditions for both nitrification and

denitrification to enhance the efficiency of N removal.

[Lagaisse F (1993) Purification of dairy waste water. Lait et Nous No. 2, 14-15, 17-22] - A detailed

review of the purification of waste water from dairy factories is presented. The advisory role of the

Stand-by Service of the Institut pour l'Encouragement de la Recherche Scientifique dans l'Industrie et

l'Agriculture (Belgium) is outlined. Issues relating to water pollution are discussed, including the

current state of legislation in Belgium regarding waste water composition and the question of whether

the polluter should pay. Types of waste water found in the dairy industry are described, including the

normal composition of dairy waste water and the effect on this of accidents during milk processing.

106


The purification of dairy wastes is then described. The stages include pre-treatment using grilles to

filter out the larger particles and a decanting process to eliminate sediment, removal of fats and

neutralization of the water, and a secondary phase in which biodegradable components are treated

either aerobically with micro-organisms or (rarely, in the case of dairy wastes) anaerobically using a

reactor. A 3rd processing stage, which might include the use of sand filtration, micro-filtration,

removal of nitrates and phosphates, and disinfection, is discussed; this stage might become necessary

if water-quality standards were to become stricter. The design and construction of a water-purification

plant and the factors that need to be taken into account, including legislation, are then described.

[Lanyon, LE (1990) The implications of dairy herd size for farm material transport, plant nutrient

management, and water quality. Journal of Dairy Science 73: Supplement 1, 123] - The linkage at

several scales of economic, management and water quality consequences of farm material transport

and dairy herd size have been illustrated by linear program simulations and field studies. Simulated

herd size for a 50-ha dairy farm ranged from 41 to 135 cows depending upon crop area allocations,

plant nutrient utilization efficiencies, feed purchases and water quality constraints. In another case,

the net economic returns of a dairy farm decreased by 5% and the excess nitrogen applied to crop

fields was 132 kg/ha when the manure from the dairy herd was spread on the fields, but not included

in the plant nutrient supply calculations. This is compared with no excess N applied when

management accounted for manure nutrients. In field studies, off-farm feed and other purchases to

support high animal densities represented a major part of the total annual plant nutrient additions to the

farms. These complicated management of the on-farm plant nutrients with respect to water-quality

protection criteria. The transport distance of off-farm materials to a dairy farm can span international

dimensions, while dairy manure is rarely transported more than several km from the source. A net

accumulation of nutrients in the neighbourhood of the dairy farm and the potential hazard for water

quality results from these relationships.

[Lanyon LE (1994) Dairy manure and plant nutrient management issues affecting water quality and

the dairy industry. Journal of Dairy Science 77: 7, 1999-2007] - Specific requirements for dairy

manure management to protect water quality from nutrient pollution depend on the organization of

individual farms. The management requirements and options are different for point (farmyard) and

non-point (field applied) sources of pollution from farms. A formal management process can guide

decisions about existing crop nutrient utilization potential, provide a framework for monitoring

nutrients supplied to crops and identify future requirements for dairy manure management to protect

water quality. Farm managers can use the process to plan daily activities, to assess annual nutrient

management performance and to chart future requirements as herd size increases. Agronomic

measures of nutrient balance, and tracking of inputs and outputs for various farm management units

can provide the quantitative basis for management to allocate better manure to fields, to modify dairy

rations, or to develop alternatives to on-farm manure application.

[Leatham DJ, Schmucker JF, Lacewell RD, Schwart RB Jr, Lovell AC, Allen G (1992) Impact of

Texas water quality laws on dairy income and viability. Journal of Dairy Science 75: 10, 2846-2856]

- A dairy waste management spreadsheet was developed, and applied together with partial budgets and

whole firm, Monte Carlo simulations for dairies in Texas, USA, to evaluate the impact that Texas

water-quality laws have on dairy profitability and survival. Results showed that representative 300-

and 720-cow dairies will incur additional annual costs of $60 and $81 per cow resp. Compliance with

water-quality laws reduces net farm income by 27% and 63% for 720-cow dairies with low- and highdebt

positions resp. The probability of survival of the dairies with low debt was not affected by

compliance. The probability of survival of dairies with high debt positions decreased by 47

percentage points. Under the conditions modelled, net farm income for representative 300-cow dairies

would be negative after compliance with water-quality laws.

[Ledgard SF, de Klein CAM, Crush JR, Thorrold BS, Peterson SW (2000) Dairy farming, nitrogen

losses and nitrate-sensitive areas. Proc. New Zealand Soc. of Animal Prod. 60: 256-260] - Dairy farms

exhibit large nitrogen (N) fluxes throughout the soil/plant/animal system. These fluxes increase with

increasing N inputs and farming intensity, and can lead to significant N losses into the environment.

Under New Zealand grazed pastoral systems, the N losses occur predominantly from animal urine.

Nitrogen can have an impact on water quality for human consumption or for aesthetics, recreational

use and fisheries via enhanced aquatic plant or algae growth. In the European Union (EU), where

dairy farming is generally more intensive, legislation is being used to reduce N losses from intensive

107


dairy farming in nitrate-sensitive areas through defined maximum rates of manure application.

Progressive reduction in these rates will potentially reduce stocking rates on intensive EU farms such

as in the Netherlands, where taxation of farm N surpluses is also used as a deterrent. However,

farmlet systems research in New Zealand has shown that high N inputs of approximately 400 kg N/ha

per year can increase nitrate-N concentration in groundwater by up to twice the recommended

maximum for drinking water. A range of on-farm options are discussed including limiting external N

inputs, increasing N use efficiency via lower protein feed sources, reducing farm dairy effluent N

losses, and avoiding direct deposition of excreta to land in autumn/winter using grazing-off or feedpad

systems. Off-farm, there is potential to intercept leached nitrate before it enters surface waters via

riparian strips or trenches, or in-stream removal by aquatic plants. In nitrate-sensitive areas, there is a

need to use a whole catchment approach by examining all contributions to nitrate leaching and not

simply targeting one agricultural practice, such as dairy farming.

[Line DE, Harman WA, Jennings GD, Thompson EJ, Osmond DL (2000) Nonpoint-source pollutant

load reductions associated with livestock exclusion. Journal of Environmental Quality 29: 6, 1882-

1890] - Cattle grazing on unimproved pastures can be a significant, yet often overlooked, source of

pollutants to surface waters, especially when the cattle have unlimited access to streams in the

pastures. Livestock exclusion from streams has been demonstrated to reduce sediment and possibly

nutrient yield from streams draining pastures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of

excluding dairy cows from, and planting trees (Cephalanthus occidentalis, Alnus serrulata, Acer

rubrum, Taxodium distichum within 3 m of the stream, and Fraxinus pennsylvanic, Quercus rubra, Q.

alba, and Pinus taeda on drier upland areas) in, a 335-m-long and 10- to 16-m-wide riparian corridor

along a small North Carolina (USA) stream. Analysis of 81 weeks of pre-exclusion and 137 weeks of

post-exclusion fencing data documented 33, 78, 76, and 82% reductions in weekly nitrate + nitrite,

total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total phosphorus, and sediment loads, respectively, from the 14.9-ha pasture

area adjacent to the fenced section of stream. The reductions in mean weekly loads post-fencing were

significant for all pollutants except nitrate + nitrite. Livestock exclusion and subsequent riparian

vegetation establishment was effective at reducing pollutant export from an intensively grazed pasture.

[Long FL (1979) Runoff water quality as affected by surface-applied dairy cattle manure. Journal of

Environmental Quality 8: 2, 215-218] - Dairy cattle manure was applied at 45 metric tons/ha for 4

years in split applications to the surface of Coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon [L.] on a Norfolk

sandy loam with


Since the introduction of the Resource Management Act, 1991, regional councils require dairy farmers

to be more accountable for the management of effluent from their dairy farms. Regulations have been

imposed to limit the application of nitrogen (N) to land from FDE, and these limits range from 150 to

200 kg N/ha per year. Farmers, consultants, and regional councils require information on the chemical

composition, particularly N content, of effluents, so that land effluent application systems can be

designed and managed within the guidelines or regulations imposed. Data gathered from previous

investigations on effluents in New Zealand found an average solids content of 0.9% dry matter.

Between 1977 and 1997 the mean N content of FDE doubled from _200 to 400 mg N/L. The trend for

higher N concentrations is likely to continue as dairy herd numbers increase. The most likely reason

for the increase in N is that volume of wash water used per cow has proportionately decreased as herd

size has increased, thus, FDE has become more concentrated with levels above 400 mg N/L

increasingly common. Average values of P and K in FDE were 70 and 370 mg/L, respectively.

Slurries obtained from anaerobic ponds, which require periodic de-sludging about every 5 years, had

average nutrient concentrations of 1650, 290, and 510 mg/L for N, P, and K, respectively, representing

an accumulation of minerals over the 5 years

[Lowrance R, Hubbard RK, Vellidis G (1995) Riparian forest restoration to control agricultural water

pollution. Clean water - clean environment - 21st century: team agriculture - working to protect water

resources. Volume 3: practices, systems & adoption. Proc. Kansas City, Missouri, USA, 5-8 March

1995, 179-182 (Pub. American Society of Agricultural Engineers; St Joseph; USA)] - A forested

riparian wetland on a first-order stream draining a dairy lagoon effluent application site in Georgia,

USA, was restored. The fate of N and P through the restored riparian forest buffer system was

determined. Restoration of the water quality functions of the wetland were rapid. Restoration of forest

vegetation was hampered by herbaceous weeds and poor tree growth but nitrate levels in shallow

groundwater moving through the riparian zone were reduced. The wetland zone exhibited high rates

of denitrification (61 lb/acre per year). Concentrations of total P, total N, ortho-P, and ammonium-N

in surface runoff were reduced as water moved through the riparian forest buffer.

[Lowrance R, Williams RG, Inamdar SR, Bosch DD, Sheridan JM (2001) Evaluation of coastal plain

conservation buffers using the riparian ecosystem management model. J. Amer. Water Resources

Assoc. 37(6): 1445-1455] – Riparian buffers are cost-shared by programs such as Conservation

Reserves that are part of the USDA Conservation Initiative. The Riparian Ecosystem management

Model (REMM) is a tool to judge water quality improvement by buffers and to set design criteria for

nutrient and sediment load reduction. Simulations for 3 types of vegetation (hardwoods, pines,

perennial grass) and different widths (4.6 m-51.8 m) and 2 water/nutrient loads (agricultural field and

liquid manure application), indicate that the minimum width was inadequate in all cases. The least

width needed to achieve 50% cost-sharing was 10.7 m and this met at least 50% reduction of N, P and

sediment.

[Magnusson F (1974) Spray irrigation of dairy effluent. International Dairy Federation: Strom A,

Lytken E, Kristensen KK, Andersson N, Adamse AD. Dairy effluent treatment. (Proc. IDF

Symposium held in Denmark, May 1973.). Annual Bulletin, International Dairy Federation No. 77,

122-130] - Effluent from a dried milk factory in Sweden was disposed of by spray irrigation on

pasture during April to Nov. for a period of 3 yr. Application rates (per ha) were: water, 7500 m3;

DM, 12 000 kg; BOD5, 3800 kg; N, 430 kg; P, 110 kg; Ca, 800 kg; and K, 120 kg. Soil analyses (pH,

total N, nitrate N, soluble and store P and K values) are tabulated for the upper 5 cm of soil and the

remaining soil (5 to 15 cm) overlying the gravel subsoil; pH of the soil was typically increased (from

5.5 to 6.5) and most plant nutrient levels increased (e.g. P from 10 to 20 mg/100 g soil), although K

values were unaltered. Coliform contamination took less than or equal to 2 wk to clear from

vegetation in dry weather; the period was shorter (approx. 1 wk) in rainy weather and following

irrigation with clean water. The risk of a public health nuisance could be minimized by restricting

spraying to areas >200 m from human habitations. Veterinary examination of cattle that grazed on the

pasture did not reveal any condition that could be ascribed to spraying. Cost of irrigation for effluent

from a factory receiving 800 t milk daily is stated as 1/5 of the cost of disposal to a local sewer;

disposal is restricted to the period mid-April to Aug.

[Mankin KR, Harner JP, Barnes PL, Ikenberry CD, Wang Lin, Wang L (2000) Establishment of a

dairy wastewater treatment system: integrating a lagoon, wetlands and vegetative filter strips. ASAE

Annual International Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 9-12 July 2000. 1-10; ASAE Paper No

109


SW00-4127] - An Ecological Livestock Pollution Control system, comprised of a settling basin, a

lagoon or holding pond, wetlands, and vegetative filter strips in series, was designed to treat the

wastewater produced on a 200-head dairy operation. This paper provides a summary of: (1) the design

of the lagoon, wetlands, and vegetative filter strips; (2) system establishment, including the planting

design; (3) instrumentation and preliminary data collection; and (4) expected treatment based on

current literature.

[Marneffe Y, Comblin S, Bussers JC, Thome JP (1997) Biomonitoring of the water quality in the river

Warche (Belgium): Impact of tributaries and sewage effluent. Netherlands Journal of Zoology 47: 1,

111-124] – s Physical, chemical and biological quality of the water in the river Warche, Belgium

monitored. Macro-invertebrate and rotifer biomonitoring (global and Belgian biotic index, and on the

Sladecek index, respectively) were used as bioindicators. High levels of organic pollution and

eutrophication were observed between the source and the sampling station located downstream of

Bullingen. Indeed, along this sector, tributaries, sewage and dairy effluent flow into the Warche and

induce significant increases in nitrate, nitrite, ammonium and phosphate concentrations. The presence

of 2 lakes along the course of the Warche induces downstream either a restoration of the water quality

caused by mixing in the lakes or an increase of ammonium and phosphate concentration after water

stratification as a result of a temperature gradient in the lakes

[Mayhew CR, Raman DR (1999) Mosquito control and pollutant removal in constructed wetlands:

subsurface flow cells vs. periodically dry surface flow cells. ASAE-CSAE-SCGR Annual

International Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 18-21 July, 1999. 11 pp.; ASAE Paper No. 99-4075

(Publ. American Society of Agricultural Engineers; St Joseph; USA)] - Three groups of constructed

wetland (CW) mesocosms (0.7 m2 each) in Tennessee, USA, were operated in 1999 treating dairy

wastewater. Group 1 consisted of free water surface (FWS) cells filled with plants that had been

established for 3 years, Group 2 consisted of newly established FWS cells, and Group 3 consisted of

newly established subsurface flow (SSF) cells. The SSF cells were loaded continuously with

wastewater, while the FWS cells were periodically dried to prevent emergence of adult Culex pipiens

associated with FWS systems. Preliminary data indicate that periodic drying of FWS CW systems

successfully kills larvae and pupae, thereby preventing adult mosquito emergence, as long as there is

no significant rainfall within the first 2 days of the drying phase. Preliminary data also indicate that

nitrogen removal is significantly greater in Group 1 than in both other groups, suggesting an important

role for dense vegetation in nitrogen removal mechanisms.

[McCaskey TA, Rollins GH, Little JA (1973) Water pollution by dairy farm wastes as related to

method of waste disposal. Water Resources Research Institute Bulletin No. 18, 86 pp.] - Three

methods of field spreading waste and a lagoon system were evaluated for the management and

disposal of dairy-cow waste. The effect of waste loading rate on runoff water quality from grassland

during a 27-month period was studied. Data are presented that show there was no appreciable

deterioration of run-off quality nor build-up of nitrate in soil loaded with 10 to 21 tons (dry basis) of

waste annually. A loading rate for field spreading dairy waste on grassland was recommended at 1 ton

(dry basis) or less per acre per month. A two-stage lagoon system was found to be a satisfactory

alternative to field spreading dairy waste for final disposal. A cost analysis of the waste management

methods was made and an annual cost per cow was projected for herds of varying size.

[McFarland AMS, Hauck LM (1999) Relating agricultural land uses to in-stream stormwater quality.

Journal of Environmental Quality 28: 3, 836-844] - Sixteen largely agricultural watersheds in the

upper portion of the North Bosque River of central Texas, USA, were monitored to collect storm event

samples for nutrient analysis. Flow-weighted storm-event mean concentrations were averaged across

storm events to characterize the water quality at each site for storms sampled between November 1992

and August 1995. Nutrient concentrations were related to land uses above sampling sites using

correlation and regression analysis to indicate major sources of nutrient non-point source pollution to

the river. N and P concentrations increased as the proportion of land area used for dairy waste

application fields (or milking cow densities) increased in the drainage basins above sampling sites.

The proportion of total P (TP) in runoff represented by soluble reactive P (SRP) also increased as the

percentage of dairy waste application fields above a sampling site increased. This increase in SRP

was of particular importance because SRP was readily bioavailable in aquatic systems, and therefore

increased the potential for accelerated eutrophication in receiving waterbodies. The results from these

analyses indicated a strong association between in-stream nutrient concentrations during storm events

110


and the percent of dairy waste application fields comprising a drainage area. This indicated a need to

manage the movement of nutrients, particularly soluble P, from manure application fields in areas

where in-stream nutrient levels are considered a non-point source pollution problem.

[McFarland AMS, Hauck LM, Lemunyon JL (1999) Phosphorus control practices for animal waste

application fields. ASAE-CSAE-SCGR Annual International Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 18-

21 July, 1999, 17 pp.; ASAE Paper No. 9940 77 (Pub. American Society of Agricultural Engineers, St

Joseph; USA] - Phosphorus (P) is recognized as a contributing nutrient to water quality problems due

to its role when abundantly supplied in accelerating algal growth. Large dairy operations in north

central Texas (USA) are potential sources of P with transport occurring from waste application fields

to waterbodies during rainfall runoff events. The P risk index uses parameters such as erosion rate,

runoff potential, soil test P levels, distance to waterbody, waste application methods, rates and timing,

vegetation, and grazing intensity to define site-specific risks associated with P movement. The

indexing procedure is then used to help identify potential problems with particular fields and

recommend BMPs to address P concerns in developing an overall waste management plan.

[McFarland AMS, McFarland MJ, Sweeten JM (2000) Dairy lagoon design and management under

chronic rainfall. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 16: 3, 285-292] - An important feature of the

ASAE revised standard practice EP403.3 DEC98 for the design of anaerobic lagoons for animal waste

management is the addition of normal runoff and normal precipitation on the lagoon surface between

drawdown events in the calculation of runoff volume (ROV). In the previous version of this standard

(EP403.2 AUG93), only the runoff and precipitation to the lagoon surface from a 25 year/24 h-storm

event were considered in ROV. Lagoon systems under both standards are designed to contain runoff

from a 25 year/24 h-storm event, although significant rainfall events rarely occur as a single wet day.

For Dublin, Texas, USA, the design 24-h, 25-year rainfall is 18.5 cm. From 86 years with complete

precipitation records, the return interval of an 18.5 cm event from consecutive wet days is about 6

years rather than 25. Beyond the additional runoff volume from multiple wet-days, chronic rainfall

also considers the preclusion of dewatering due to wet weather conditions. To evaluate the risk of

overflow from a one-stage lagoon sized for a 1000-head dairy considering the recurrence of chronic

rainfall events, a simple lagoon water balance model was developed. Actual daily rainfall for 86 years

was used to estimate runoff into and precipitation on the lagoon. Drawdown management was based

on lagoon level, daily rainfall, and saturated ground. When normal runoff and precipitation was

considered in the ROV, the frequency of lagoon overflow events was within expected frequency for

the 86 years of record for most sensitivity scenarios. When normal runoff and precipitation was not

considered in the ROV, the frequency of overflow events often exceeded the expected frequency

emphasizing the importance of considering more than just the 25 year/24 h-storm event in determining

the runoff volume of a lagoon.

[McKee LJ, Eyre BD, Hossain S, Pepperell PR (2001) Influence of climate, geology and humans on

spatial and temporal nutrient geochemistry in the subtropical Richmond River catchment, Australia.

Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 2, 235-248] - Water quality was monitored on a spatial and

temporal basis in the subtropical Richmond River catchment over two years. Nutrient concentrations

varied seasonally in a complex manner with highest concentrations (maximum=3110 µg N L-1 and

572 µg P L-1) associated with floods. However, median (444 µg N L-1 and 55 µg P L-1)

concentrations were relatively low compared with other parts of the world. The forms of nitrogen and

phosphorus in streams varied seasonally, with greater proportions of inorganic nitrogen and

phosphorus during the wet season. Minimum nutrient concentrations were found 2-3 months after

flood discharge. With the onset of the dry season, concentration increases were attributed to point

sources and low river discharge. There were statistically significant relationships between geology

and water quality and nutrient concentrations increased downstream and were significantly related to

population density and dairy farming. In spite of varying geology and naturally higher phosphorus in

soils and rocks in parts of the catchment, anthropogenic impacts had the greatest effects on water

quality in the Richmond River catchment. Rainfall quality also appeared to be related both spatially

and seasonally to human activity. Although the responses of the subtropical Richmond River

catchment to changes in land use are similar to those of temperate systems of North America and

Europe, the seasonal patterns appear to be more complex and perhaps typical of subtropical

catchments dominated by agricultural land use.

111


[Meals DW, Straskraba M (1996) Watershed-scale response to agricultural diffuse pollution control

programs in Vermont, USA. Diffuse pollution '95. Selected Proceedings of the 2nd IAWQ

International Specialized Conference and Symposia on Diffuse Pollution, held in Brno and Prague,

Czech Republic, 13-18 August, 1995. Water Science and Technology 33: 4-5, 197-204] - From 1979

to 1990, two projects sought to reduce sediment, nutrient and bacteria loads to parts of Lake

Champlain impaired by eutrophication. Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control diffuse sources

of pollution from dairy agriculture were widely implemented through a voluntary programme of

technical assistance and cost-sharing by agencies of the US Department of Agriculture. Some BMPs

significantly reduced edge-of-field pollutant delivery to surface waters. Phosphorus export from

maize fields was up to 1500% higher where manure was winter spread and up to 15% of the

phosphorus applied in winter-spread manure was lost in runoff. A vegetated filter strip retained more

than 90% of sediment and nutrients in milking centre waste and functioned effectively year-round.

Watershed-level response, however, was not simply the sum of edge-of-field changes. Sediment

concentration and export decreased in both project areas, but anticipated decreases in nutrient

concentrations and loads did not occur. The most significant water quality trends observed were 50-

75% reductions in indicator bacteria counts in all study watersheds.

[Monaghan RM, Paton RJ, Drewry JJ (2002)Nitrogen and phosphorus losses in mole and tile drainage

from a cattle-grazed pasture in eastern Southland. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research

45(3): 197-205] – Results reported from first year of a study of P and N losses. Drainage water

contained 25 kg N/ha, representing 6.9 mg nitrate-N/L. This is a loss of potentially available plant N

but is less than the 11.3 mg N/L standard adopted by NZ Ministry of Health for acceptable nitrate

levels in drinking water. Mean dissolved reactive P and total P were 23 and 74mg P/L. Of the P lost,

61% was in particulate form, which may reflect the recent introduction of mole and tile drains to the

site.

[Mooney C, Farrier D (2002) A micro case study of the legal and administrative arrangements for

river health in the Kangaroo River (NSW). Water Science and Technology 45(11): 161-168] – The

river is a source of drinking water for Sydney and other towns. Land use is dominated by dairying,

but significant rural development of hobby farms and residential land is occurring. River flows are

affected by water extraction for water supply and irrigation. The water in the river is a poor source of

raw drinking water, due to agricultural run-off and poor on-site sewage management systems.

Riparian vegetation is poor because of uncontrolled management. Managing diffuse pollution is

difficult and EPA has focussed on point-source pollution. Under land-use planning system in NSW,

existing uses are protected from new regulatory requirements – new legislation is needed to address

the problem.

[Moore JA, Grismer ME, Crane SR, Miner JR (1982) Evaluating dairy waste management systems'

influence on fecal coliform concentration in runoff. Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State

University Bulletin No. 658, 101pp.] - Environmental factors influencing the die-off and transport of

fecal coliform bacteria present in wastes applied to the land surface are reported. These factors are

examined specifically for dairy waste management systems and the net effect each system has on

runoff water quality. A model is developed that considers the effects of precipitation, season, method

of wastes storage and application, die-off of the bacteria in storage, die-off of the bacteria on the the

land surface, infiltration of bacteria into the soil profile, soil characteristics, overland transport of

bacteria (runoff), and buffer zones. The model is then applied to the Tillamook Basin in north-western

Oregon to evaluate which waste management procedures significantly decrease bacterial pollution

potential in agricultural runoff.

[Nash D, Murdoch C (1997) Phosphorus in runoff from a fertile dairy pasture. First national soil

phosphate conference. Australian Journal of Soil Research 35: 2, 419-429] - Losses of phosphorus

(P) from grazed pastures in runoff can significantly reduce the water quality in streams draining

agricultural catchments. Many preventative strategies depend for their success on the association of

the P with large soil particles (>0.45 µm). Runoff from a dairy pasture of high fertility was restricted

to 3 months in late winter and spring. Total runoff for 1994 of 660 m 3 had an average total P

concentration of 5.2 mg/L. Runoff from a single storm system over 8 days in early November

accounted for 56% of the total runoff volume and 69% of the P lost. Of the total P in the runoff, 93%

could pass through a filter with 0.45-µm pores and 91% was reactive in an ascorbic acid-molybdate

medium, without digestion; 89% of the P was both reactive in the ascorbic acid-molybdate medium

112


and in the 0.05) between P concentration

and soil cover. In the catchment, the major runoff events occurred when the soil was saturated. The

low settling velocities of materials


[Reck WR, Campbell KL (ed.), Graham WD (ed.), Bottcher AB (1994) GLEAMS modelling of BMPs

to reduce nitrate leaching in Middle Suwannee River area. Environmentally sound agriculture: Proc.

of the second conference, Orlando, Florida, USA, 20-22 April 1994. pp. 361-367; ASAE publication

04-94] (American Society of Agricultural Engineers, St Joseph; USA)] - The effectiveness of

conservation practices to reduce NO3 leaching to the Floridian Aquifer (USA) through improved

agricultural waste management systems was estimated. Groundwater monitoring of the Middle

Suwannee River Area (MSRA) showed high concn of NO3-N near (down gradient from) intensive

agricultural operations. Dairy and poultry farms have high NO3 levels below these operations

compared to nearby control wells. During the summer of 1992, interviews were conducted with 8

dairy farmers and 16 poultry farmers in the MSRA. The data from the interviews was used to develop

'typical' values to input into the computer model Groundwater Loading Effects of Agricultural

Management Systems (GLEAMS) in order to predict N leaching under various management schemes.

Several alternative management scenarios were modelled to determine the most effective method of

reducing the leaching of NO3-N. These best management practices (BMPs) included determination of

optimal loading rates for poultry litter, efficient crop rotations, number of harvests for hayland crops,

irrigation of agricultural crops with lagoon effluent, reduction of commercial fertilizer used, and

control of HIA. This information was used to estimate an average reduction in NO3 leaching of 77%

for participating poultry farms and 55% reduction in NO3 leaching for participating dairy farms with

the use of BMPs. The overall effectiveness of implementing BMPs for the MSRA was estimated to be

a 50% reduction in NO3-N leached for all dairy and poultry farms combined.

[Rennes AMD, Lomas J (1994) Implications of the Resource Management Act. Proc. 46th Ruakura

Farmers' Conference, incorporating Ruakura Dairy Conference & Whatawhata Sheep & Beef Day,

held at Ruakura & Whatawhata, New Zealand, 15 June 1994. pp. 10-14] - The implications of the

Resource Management Act, which has recently come into force in New Zealand, on dairy farming, are

discussed. Examples of how the requirements of the Act are being tackled in Waikato region are

presented, these include a development of a specific plan, with rule requirements, for the treatment and

disposal of manures from cow housing and monitoring the effect of intensive farming on water

quality. The measures also include the formation of a liaison group comprising regional council and

dairy industry representatives.

[Roach CG, Longhurst RD, Ledgard SF (2001) Land application of farm dairy effluent for sustainable

dairy farming. New Zealand Grassland Association Sixty-third Conference, Waikato, New Zealand,

30 October-1 November 2001. Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association 63: 53-57] -

Land application of farm dairy effluent (FDE) is preferred over pond treatment because of the

potential reduction in environmental impacts, and recycling of valuable nutrients. Recent findings

from the past 5 years of research by AgResearch and Dexcel are presented to provide an overview of

the effects of applying FDE to pastures. Results indicate that significant pasture responses to applying

FDE at increasing rates of N were found in both the mowing and grazing trials. There was no

difference in pasture responses between FDE and urea when applied at the same rate of N. The

ryegrass content of pastures increased with increasing N rates whether from effluent or urea. N and

nitrate-N concentrations in the herbage showed some increases but were not excessive at rates up to

400 kg N/ha per year. Pasture concentrations of other nutrients (except K) were unaffected by the rate

or form of nitrogen applied. Both pasture K and soil K levels were significantly higher under the

effluent treatments. Nitrate and calcium leaching increased significantly under the highest rate of N

application (400 kg N/ha per year). Spreading FDE over a sufficiently large area (15-20% of the farm)

can reduce inputs of K to near maintenance requirements and restrict N inputs to about 80-120 kg

N/ha per year, thereby avoiding potential animal health and environmental problems. A behavioural

study showed that cows disliked grazing pastures recently treated with FDE. This study also showed

that there was a significant and rapid decline in faecal coliform counts on pasture following effluent

application.

[Robins L (2002) Managing riparian land for multiple uses. RIRDC Publication No. 02/103] – This

book has chapters on Conserving riparian plants and animals; Using riparian land as wildlife corridors;

Maximising the health and diversity of in-stream life; Using riparian land to improve water quality;

Protecting stream stability; Using riparian land to improve the productivity of crops and pastures;

Using riparian land to provide shade, shelter and feed for livestock,; Harvesting non-wood products

from riparian land; Harvesting wood products from riparian land; Ecosystem services.

114


[Rodda HJE, Wilcock RJ, Shankar U, Thorrold BS, Heathwaite L (1999) The effects of intensive dairy

farming on stream water quality in New Zealand. Impact of land-use change on nutrient loads from

diffuse sources. Proc. International Symposium held during IUGG 99, the XXII General Assembley

of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, at Birmingham, UK, 18-30 July 1999. pp. 75-

85; IAHS Publication No. 257 (IAHS Press, Wallingford, UK)] - A three-year study on the effects of

intensive dairy farming on the water quality of the Toenepi basin, near Hamilton in New Zealand's

North Island is described. The study incorporated a detailed programme of water quality and flow

monitoring, land-use surveys, soil surveys, and stream ecology surveys. The monitoring not only

generated a better understanding of the effects of intensive dairy farming on stream water quality, but

also provided input and calibration data for a distributed basin-scale water quality model, which was

set up to test the effects of a number of land-use change scenarios. The results of the monitoring

programme showed higher levels of nutrients compared to other New Zealand streams, but sediment

levels were not particularly high. The model scenario testing confirmed that any further

intensification of land use could lead to stream nitrate-nitrogen concentrations above WHO guidelines

[Satter LD, Wu Z (2000) Full crediting of manure nutrients essential in future. Feedstuffs 72: 21, 11-

15] - Areas with high livestock densities will have to transport manure nutrients over larger distances

to avoid over-application of nutrients or, alternatively, relocate animals to where cropland is available

for manure application. Full crediting of manure nutrients will be essential, and switching to a

phosphorus standard is inevitable. The current situation is reviewed with regard to phosphorus

supplementation of dairy cows. A reduction in the dietary phosphorus would lead to less phosphorus

in manure, thus easing the land requirement for manure application.

[Satter LD (2001) Phosphorus in, phosphorus out. Changing dairy cow diets can reduce environmental

problems. Resource Engineering and Technology for a Sustainable World 8: 5, 13-14] - Reducing

dietary P will reduce dairy producer costs and manure P content, thus, reducing potential for P runoff

from fields that over time have been overfertilized with P in manure. If dairy producers reduced

dietary P levels to meet the cow's needs, including a safety margin, manure P content could be

decreased by 25 to 30%.

[Scott CA, Walter MF, Brooks ES, Boll J, Hes MB, Merrill MD (1998) Impacts of historical changes

in land use and dairy herds on water quality in the Catskills Mountains. Journal of Environmental

Quality 27: 6, 1410-1417] - Surface water eutrophication has been linked to nonpoint sources of

agricultural nutrients. Herd size and total manure load dropped significantly over the period 1938 to

1993; however, the P content in manure and confinement of animals increased, counteracting the

hypothesized trend that SP loading would drop. For 1993,


Rainfall exacerbates this effect either through field runoff or wastes washing directly from the

farmyards. The status of benthic macro-invertebrate communities in these tributaries is poor and,

typically, only a few pollution-tolerant species are present. The tributaries have a localized effect on

both the water chemistry and biology of larger watercourses. The results from the study provide a

basis for improved catchment management practice. Pollution risk maps have been drawn up for the

study catchment based on soil type, slope and proximity to watercourses. These are of application in

planning improvements to farm management practices.

[Schofield K, Seager J, Merriman RP, Jones JG (1993) The impact of intensive dairy farming

activities on river quality: the Eastern Cleddau catchment study. Agriculture and the environment pp.

75-90 (Ellis Horwood Ltd; Chichester; UK)] - A study was conducted in the Eastern Cleddau

catchment in Wales to investigate the impact of farming activities on river quality. Water quality in the

major rivers in the catchment was generally good. Intensive monitoring of one tributary receiving

drainage water from dairy farm land indicated that farming activities such as washing of yards caused

a deterioration in the water quality. Rainfall events were generally followed by ammonia peaks 3-4 h

later. The status of the macroinvertebrate community in stream water was poor with few species

present. Catchment monitoring showed that most of the land in the area was unsuitable for slurry

application at any time of the year except for the dry summer months.

[Schwer CB , Clausen JC (1989) Vegetative filter treatment of dairy milkhouse wastewater. Journal

of Environmental Quality 18: 4, 446-451] - A vegetated filter strip constructed to treat milkhouse

wastewater from a Vermont dairy farm was evaluated to determine its effectiveness in reducing solids,

P and N concentrations and exports in surface and subsurface flow. The liquid waste was applied

twice daily via a level lip spreader at a rate of 2.94 cm/wk on a vegetated loam soil having a 2% slope.

The flow and concentrations of inputs and surface and subsurface outputs were continuously

monitored during the 2-yr study. The strip significantly (P < 0.01) reduced solids, P, and N on a

concentration basis, and retained 95% solids, 89% P, and 92% N on a mass basis. Retention was

greatest during the growing season and poorest during snowmelt periods. Concentrations in

subsurface outputs were greater than in surface runoff and over 75% of the mass export was in

subsurface flow. Comparisons of this study with values reported in the literature suggests that

hydraulic loading rate governs the effectiveness of filter strip treatment.

[Shirmohammadi A, Yoon KS, Magette WL (1997) Water quality in mixed land-use watershed -

Piedmont region in Maryland. Transactions ASAE 40: 6, 1563-1572] - To assess the status, nature,

and magnitude of non-point source pollution in the Monocacy River Basin, a watershed scale

monitoring project was established in the Warner watershed located in Frederick County, Maryland,

USA. The watershed is 346 ha in area with Piedmont geology and diverse land use. Both paired

watershed and upstream-downstream monitoring designs (USEPA's national design guidelines) were

established to measure flow, sediment, and nutrient constituents at different stations throughout the

watershed. Monitoring results obtained for the period of January 1993 to December 1995 were

analysed and are presented. Data indicated that a major cause of pollution was mismanagement of

dairy manure. Results also showed that the lack of fencing around stream channels in the watershed

with dairy operations may result in the direct deposit of animal waste into the stream, thus causing

elevated concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus. Data also indicated that subsurface lateral flow

increases nitrate loadings to the stream in the Piedmont physiographic region, thus making nutrient

management a priority in upland agricultural fields.

[Silva RG, Cameron KC, Di HJ, Hendry T (1999) A lysimeter study of the impact of cow urine, dairy

shed effluent, and nitrogen fertiliser on nitrate leaching. Australian Journal of Soil Research 37: 2,

357-369] - The effect of cow urine, dairy shed effluent (DE), and urea fertilizer on nitrate leaching

was determined using undisturbed soil lysimeters (500 mm diameter by 700 mm deep) with ryegrass

(Lolium perenne)-white clover (Trifolium repens) pasture in New Zealand. Cow urine was applied to

the lysimeters at rates of 0 and 1000 kg N/ha in May 1996. Urea and DE were applied to urineapplied

and non-urine-applied lysimeters at rates of 0, 200, and 400 kg N/ha in 4 split equal

applications in May, August, and November 1996 and February 1997. Natural rainfall was

supplemented with simulated rainfall in winter and spring (May-October) to achieve the 75th

percentile of winter-spring rainfall records in the region. Flood irrigation was applied 6 times during

summer-autumn (November-April) at 100 mm per application, which is a typical practice used by

dairy farmers in the region. Drainage water was collected and analysed for nitrate, nitrite, bromide

116


(added tracer), and ammonium. Over the first year of the experiment (May 1996-April 1997), 12% of

the urine-N applied was lost through leaching, mainly in nitrate form. When urine (1000 kg N/ha) was

applied in combination with DE (200 kg N/ha) and urea (200 kg N/ha), the mineral N leaching loss

increased to 14% of the total N applied. The annual average nitrate concentrations in the drainage

from the lysimeters that received urine alone, or urine + DE and/or urea, were 33-57 mg N/L, with a

mean peak concentration of 110 mg N/L. These nitrate concentrations were significantly higher than

in those treatments that did not receive urine (1-5 mg N/L). Because, on average, _25% of the area of

a grazed dairy paddock receives urine per year, the field-scale leaching losses were calculated by

taking into account the dilution effect of drainage water from non-urine patch areas of the paddock.

The calculated annual paddock losses were 33-60 kg N/ha, and on average the annual paddock nitrate

concentrations were 10-17 mg N/L. This demonstrates the importance of accounting for the dilution

of nitrate in the leachate from non-urine patch areas of the paddock. The annual average concentration

from the treatment DE at 400 kg N/ha was significantly lower than that from the urea treatment at the

same rate. This was probably because of the different chemical forms of N in each material, and needs

to be taken into account when developing regional rules for land application of urea and effluents.

[Sprosen MS, Ledgard SF, Thom ER, Baker M (1997) Nitrate leaching is similar in N2-fixing grassclover

pasture and N-fertilised grass-only pasture at similar N inputs. New Zealand Grassland

Association. Fifty-ninth conference, Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand, 29-31 October 1997. Proc.

New Zealand Grassland Association 59: 125-128] - Nitrate leaching losses were measured in New

Zealand farmlets containing ryegrass [Lolium]-clover pasture which received most of its N input in the

form of N2 fixation by white clover (Trifolium repens), or a ryegrass-only pasture which received a

similar amount of N in the form of urea fertilizer. The farmlets were rotationally-grazed by dairy

cows between 1993 and 1996 at the Dairying Research Corporation's No. 5 dairy, Hamilton, New

Zealand. Total N inputs ranged from 146 to 200 kg/ha per year. Total pasture production was similar

in both treatments in year 2, but was 22% lower in the grass-clover pasture in year 3. Milk production

was similar for both farmlets in years 1 and 2, but was not measured in year 3. Nitrate concentrations

in the leachate were measured using ceramic cup collectors at 1 m depth. The average nitrate-N

concentration in leachate over the 3 years was 3.9 and 3.7 mg/L for the fertilizer and clover treatments,

respectively. This was well below the 11 mg nitrate-N/L limit set for drinking water. Over the 3 years

of the trial, 76 and 71 kg N/ha were leached from the fertilizer and clover treatments, respectively.

There was no significant difference between N sources in the amount of nitrate-N leached.

[Stout WL, Fales SL, Muller LD, Schnabel RR, Elwinger GF, Weaver SR (2000) Assessing the effect

of management intensive grazing on water quality in the northeast U.S. Journal of Soil and Water

Conservation Ankeny 55: 2, 238-243] - Stocking rate is the key determining effect of management

intensive grazing on dairy farm profitability. However, increased stocking rate can increase NO3-

leaching from pastures. Increasing stocking rate increases NO3- loss through leaching because the

bulk of the N consumed by the animal is excreted in concentrated areas of the pasture mainly in urine.

Experimental data from NE USA and the literature were used to assess the relationships between

stocking rate and NO3- leaching losses beneath an intensively grazed pasture. A relatively low

cumulative seasonal stocking rate of _200 mature Holstein ha-1 could result in a 10 mg NO3--N L-1

concentration in the leachate beneath a fertilized, intensively grazed pasture. This means that while

management by intensive grazing can improve farm profitability and help control erosion, it can have

a significant negative effect on water quality beneath pastures. The extent to which this effect occurs

within specific watersheds needs to be evaluated in context of the other cropping systems and lands

uses within the watershed.

[Stout WL, Delahoy JE, Muller LD, Saporito LS, Galloway JN (ed.), Cowling EB (ed.), Erisman JW

(ed.), Wisniewski J (ed.), Jordan C (2001) Evaluating nitrogen management options for reducing

nitrate leaching from Northeast U.S. pastures. Optimizing nitrogen management in food and energy

production and environmental protection. Proc. 2nd International Nitrogen Conference on Science and

Policy, Potomac, MD, USA, 14-18 October 2001. TheScientificWorld, 1: 253, 887-891; available at

www.thescientificworld.com] - Substantial amounts of nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) can leach from

intensively grazed pasture in the northeast USA where there is approximately 30 cm of groundwater

recharge, annually. Management options for reducing NO3-N leaching were evaluated for this

environment using the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System Model and a recently developed

nitrogen leaching index. Management options utilizing energy supplementation of grazing dairy cows

could improve nitrogen efficiency within the cow, but would not necessarily reduce NO3-N leaching

117


at the pasture scale if stocking rate was not controlled. The management option of using white clover

(Trifolium repens) to supply nitrogen to the pasture decreased NO3-N leaching, but produced less dry

matter yield, which in turn reduced stocking rate. The economic returns of reducing NO3-N with

these options need to be evaluated in light of milk prices and commodity and fertilizer nitrogen costs.

At current prices and costs, the economic benefit from the energy supplementation options is

substantial.

[Sukias JPS, Tanner CC, Davies-Colley RJ, Nagels JW, Wolters R (2001) Algal abundance, organic

matter, and physico-chemical characteristics of dairy farm facultative ponds: implications for

treatment performance. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 44: 4, 279-296] - Six Waikato

(New Zealand) dairy farm facultative ponds (DFPs), which met the larger sizes specified in recent

dairy industry guidelines, were sampled monthly. Performance was highly variable and only 1/2 of

the DFPs studied consistently met an effluent standard. Conductivity was found to be a useful singlemeasure

indicator of overall pond performance and management of sludge levels in the preceding

anaerobic pond was identified as a key factor affecting DFP performance. Further improvements in

dairy farm stabilization pond performance are likely to be required on many farms to meet receiving

water guidelines for the protection of water quality and aquatic life.

[Sweeten JM, Wolfe ML (1994) Manure and wastewater management systems for open lot dairy

operations. Transactions ASAE 37: 4, 1145-1154] - Dairy industry expansion using open-lot designs

has affected water quality and groundwater usage in parts of Central Texas (USA). Field research was

conducted at commercial dairy farms in Erath County, Texas, to develop improved design criteria for

storage, treatment, and land application systems for open-lot dairies. Water use and waste water from

milking parlours were monitored, along with rainfall run-off from open lots. Water use for milk

sanitation and manure removal averaged 148 litres/cow per day. Two-stage anaerobic lagoon systems

achieved higher solids and nutrient removal efficiencies than a combination of settling basin and onestage

anaerobic lagoons. The two-stage anaerobic lagoon system with an 81- to 118-day hydraulic

retention time reduced concentrations of volatile solids (VS), COD, and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN)

in dairy waste water from milking parlours by 80 to 82%, 90 to 93% and 55 to 73%, respectively.

Solids-settling basins reduced VS, COD, and TKN concentrations in waste water by 35 to 45%, 27 to

47%, and 14 to 24%, respectively. Compared with second-stage lagoon effluent, open-lot run-off was

higher in K, but similar in TKN and P concentrations and contained a greater proportion of fixed

solids. Analysis showed that anaerobic lagoon effluent and open lot run-off were good sources of

available plant nutrients.

[Tanner CC, Bavor HJ (ed.), Mitchell DS (1994) Treatment of dairy farm wastewaters in horizontal

and up-flow gravel-bed constructed wetlands. Wetland systems in water pollution control. Proc.

IAWQ 3rd International Specialist Conference, Sydney, Australia, 23-25 November 1992. Water

Science and Technology 29: 4, 85-93] - The performance of four horizontal and two up-flow pilotscale

constructed wetlands planted with Schoenoplectus validus (soft-stemmed bulrush or lake

clubrush) treating dairy wastewaters in Hamilton, New Zealand was studied. The study was continued

over two winters and two summers. Removals of BOD, total nitrogen and total phosphorus were

positively correlated with retention time. Horizontal-flow systems achieved better nutrient removals

than upflow systems.

[Tanner CC, Clayton JS, Upsdell MP (1995a) Effect of loading rate and planting on treatment of dairy

farm wastewaters in constructed wetlands -I. Removal of oxygen demand, suspended solids and faecal

coliforms. Water Research Oxford 29: 1, 17-26] - The effect of influent loading rate on mass removal

of BOD, SS and faecal coliforms (FC) from milking parlour waste waters was compared in four pairs

of planted (Schoenoplectus validus) and unplanted gravel-bed wetlands (each 19 m) in New Zealand.

The wetlands were operated at nominal retention times of 7, 5.5, 3 and 2 d, with in and outflows

sampled fortnightly over a 20-month period. Hydraulic flows were monitored to enable calculation of

the mass flows of pollutants. Influent water quality varied markedly over the trial period (CBOD5 20-

300 g/m 3 , SS, 60-250 g/m 3 ; FC, 103-106 MPN (100/mL). NBOD was an important component of

total BOD, being around 1.5 times higher than the influent CBOD5, and 2-10 times higher than the

effluent CBOD5. Outflow levels of CBOD5, SS and faecal coliforms rapidly mirrored changes in

influent loadings. Mean mass removal of CBOD5 increased from 60-75 to 85-90%, total BOD

(CBOD5 + NBOD) from 50 to 80% and FC from 90-96 to >99% with increasing wetland retention

time during the first 12 months of monitoring. Mean annual SS removals of 75-85% were recorded

118


irrespective of loading rate. High levels of dissolved humic colour in the waste waters were little

affected by passage through the wetland at short retention times, but were reduced by up to 40% at

longer retentions. Mass removal of CBOD5, SS and FC showed monotonic relationships to mass

loading rates, with little difference between the performance of planted and unplanted wetlands,

except for CBOD5 at high loadings (>3 g/m per d). The planted wetlands showed significantly

improved removal rates for CBOD5 at higher loadings, and 1.3 to 2.6 fold higher mass removals of

total BOD

[Tanner CC, Clayton JS, Upsdell MP (1995b) Effect of loading rate and planting on treatment of dairy

farm wastewaters in constructed wetlands II. Removal of nitrogen and phosphorus. Water Research

Oxford 29: 1, 27-34] - The effect of influent loading rate on mass removal of nitrogen and phosphorus

from milking parlour waste waters was compared in four pairs of planted (Schoenoplectus validus) and

unplanted gravel-bed wetlands (each 19 m2). The wetlands were operated at nominal retention times

of 7, 5.5, 3 and 2 d, with in and outflows sampled fortnightly over a 20-month period. Hydraulic

flows were monitored to enable calculation of the mass flows of nutrients, and plant biomass and

tissue nutrient levels sampled to evaluate plant nutrient uptake. Influent water quality varied markedly

during the trial period (TN, 10-110; NH4-N, 5-70; and TP 8-18 g/m3). As theoretical waste water

retention times increased from 2 to 7 d, mean reduction of TN increased from 12 to 41% and 48 to

75% in the unplanted wetlands and planted wetlands, resp., and TP removal increased from 1 to 36%

and 37 to 74%, resp. In the planted wetlands, mean annual removal rates of TN (0.15-1.4 g/m2 per d)

and TP (0.13-0.32 g/m2 per d), increased gradually with mass loading rates. The unplanted wetlands

showed a marked decline in TN and TP removal at high loadings. Net storage by plants in the first

year of monitoring accounted for between 3 and 20% of the greater N removal and between 3 and 60%

of the greater P removal in the planted wetlands.

[Tanner CC, Adams DD, Downes MT (1997) Methane emissions from constructed wetlands treating

agricultural wastewaters. Journal of Environmental Quality 26: 4, 1056-1062] - Methane emissions

were measured during mid-summer in four pilot-scale constructed wetlands in New Zealand that had

treated dairy farm waste waters for a period of 2 year. Measurements were made at up- and downstream

sites in wetlands receiving low and high waste water loadings (_26 and 45 mm/d), both in the

presence of wetland vegetation (Schoenoplectus validus). An automated flux chamber and gas

circulation system, and associated sampling and chromatographic analysis system, were used to make

field measurements. Median emissions ranged between 48 and 482 mg CH4/m2 per day, without

discernible diurnal patterns. Upstream sites, closest to waste water inflows, generally showed

significantly higher (P


and -100 mV, respectively). In the presence of wetland plants, mean NH4-N removal in the

mesocosms with low or zero fluctuation rose to 71 and 54%, respectively, and COD removal (>70%)

and redox potential (mid-batch Eh >200 mV) were higher than in the unplanted mesocosms.

Negligible increases in oxidised N were recorded at these fluctuation frequencies, but TN levels

declined at mean rates of 2.4 and 1.8 g/m2 per day, respectively. NH4-N removal from the bulk water

in the mesocosms was well described (R2=0.97-0.99) by a sorption-plant uptake-microbial model.

First-order volumetric removal rate constants (kv) rose with increasing fluctuation frequency from

0.026 to 0.46 per day without plants and from 0.042 to 0.62 per day with plants. As fluctuation

frequency increased, reversible sorption of NH4-N to the media, and associated biofilms and organic

matter, became an increasingly important moderator of bulk water concentrations during the batch

periods. TN mass balances for the batch periods suggested that measured plant uptake estimates of

0.52-1.07 g N/m2 per day (inversely related to fluctuation frequency) could account for the increased

removal of TN recorded in the planted systems. Microbial nitrification-denitrification losses were

estimated to be doubled by low-level fluctuation from 0.7 to 1.4 g N/m2 per d (both with and without

plants), rising to a maximum rate of 2.1 g N/m2 per day at high fluctuation, in the absence of

competitive uptake by plants.

[Tanner CC (2001) Growth and nutrient dynamics of soft-stem bulrush in constructed wetlands

treating nutrient-rich wastewaters. Wetlands Ecology and Management 9: 1, 49-73] - The growth

characteristics and nutritional status of Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (soft-stem bulrush or lake

clubrush) were investigated during the second and third growth seasons, between November 1989 and

January 1992, in four equivalent subsurface-flow, gravel-bed constructed treatment wetlands in

Hamilton, New Zealand. Each wetland was supplied with a different hydraulic loading rate of

agricultural wastewater (from dairy farms), covering the range commonly applied to such systems.

Marked seasonal patterns of early spring emergence, summer growth and autumn senescence were

observed, with little overwintering of live above-ground biomass. Starch, the dominant long-term

storage substance, comprised _20% of rhizome dry weight (DW) in autumn. Mobilization during

spring reduced concentrations by around half, with a trend of increasing depletion in the higher loaded

wetlands. Net annual primary production (NAPP), including above-ground mortality, during the

second growth season ranged between _2.5 and 3.5 kg DW m-2, with 10-23% allocated to belowground

growth. Mean above-ground live and dead biomass ranged between _1.75 and 2.65 kg DW m-

2 by mid-summer, with below- to above-ground biomass ratios similar in all wetlands at between 0.6

and 0.7. Rhizomes, which comprised approximately 80% of the below-ground biomass, were

generally restricted to the upper 10 cm of the substratum and over half the root biomass also occurred

in this zone, with very few roots penetrating below 30 cm depth. High culm concentrations of N, P,

Mg and Zn in spring declined markedly over the growth season, while S and Ca showed general

increases, and K, Fe and Cu remained relatively stable. Gradients of decreasing tissue concentration

of most macronutrients were noted with increasing distance from wastewater inflows. Plant

accumulation of N rose by 20-35 g m-2 and P by 4-9 g m-2 with seasonal regrowth of above-ground

shoots. Net plant N and P uptake rates rose to maximum values of 0.3 g N m-2 d-1 and 0.1 g P m-2 d-

1 in early summer, declining markedly during late summer and autumn. Mass balance assessments of

N and P accumulation in plants at near maximum seasonal biomass, after three growth seasons,

showed that only 6 to 11% of the N removal and 6 to 13% of the P removal recorded from

wastewaters applied to the wetlands could be ascribed to plant uptake and accumulation.

[Toombs MR (1997) Evaluation of vegetative filter strips (VFS) to treat beef feedlot and dairy yard

runoff in Ontario. Canadian Society for Engineering in Agricultural, Food, and Biological Systems

Annual Conference, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, 28-30 May, 1997. Paper No. 97-500, 1-10] - The

vegetative filter strip (VFS) is a low-cost innovative approach for treating contaminated runoff from

livestock yards. Five VFS have been constructed across Ontario, Canada. The VFS system treats

contaminated runoff through settling, filtration, infiltration, absorption and dilution of runoff.

Analysis of influent and effluent runoff for nitrates, ammonia, P, K, total dissolved solids, faecal

coliform and BOD5. Results showed no accumulation of nutrients in the soil profile and no change in

groundwater samples from preconstruction levels.

[van Horn HH, Wilkie AC, Powers,WJ, Nordstedt RA (1994) Components of dairy manure

management systems. Journal of Dairy Science 77: 7, 2008-2030] - Dairy manure management

systems should account for the fate of excreted nutrients that may be of environmental concern.

120


Currently, regulatory oversight is directed primarily at the assurance of water quality; N is the most

monitored element. Land application of manure at acceptable fertilizer levels to crops produced on the

farm by hauling or by pumping flushed manure effluent through irrigation systems is the basis of most

systems. Nutrient losses to surface and groundwater can be avoided, and significant economic value

can be obtained from manure as fertilizer if adequate crop production is possible. Dairies with

insufficient crop production potential need affordable systems to concentrate manure nutrients, thereby

reducing transport costs and possibly producing a saleable product. Precipitation of additional

nutrients from flushed manures with sedimented solids may be possible. Composting of separated

manure solids offers a possible method to stabilize solids for distribution, although solids separated

from dairy manures are usually fibrous and low in fertility. Manure solids combined with wastes from

other sources may have potential if a marketable product can be produced or if sufficient subsidy is

received for processing supplementary wastes. Solutions to odour problems are needed. Energy

generated from manure organic mater, via anaerobic digestion, reduces atmospheric emissions of

methane and odorous compounds. Use of constructed wetlands or harvesting of photosynthetic

biomass from waste water could improve water quality, making extensive recycling possible.

[van der Meer HG, Van der Putten AHJ, Pollott GE (1995) Reduction of nutrient emissions from

ruminant livestock farms. Grassland into the 21st century: challenges and opportunities. Proc. 50th

Anniversary Meeting, Harrogate, UK, 4-6 December, 1995. pp. 118-134 (British Grassland Society,

Reading; UK)] - Inorganic nitrogenous fertilizers and concentrate feeds have significantly contributed

to the increase of forage and ruminant production in Western Europe. There is increasing concern

about nutrient losses to the environment. Nutrient balance sheets have been used in the Netherlands to

assess the efficiency of nutrient use on dairy farms. These show that surpluses of N, P and K

decreased by _20% between surveys conducted in 1983-1986 and 1992-1993. The relationship

between ecologically acceptable losses of N and P and surpluses on the N and P balance-sheets of

different types of farms has also been studied. European legislation to reduce nutrient losses from

livestock farms is described. Results of field experiments showed that Dutch regulations on the rate,

timing, and technique of slurry application improved the utilization of slurry N and reduced losses.

Calculations with the model FARM-MIN indicated that a reduction of the total rate of N application

and N fertilizer was still required

[Vant B, Huser B, Peterson SW (2000) Effects of intensifying catchment land-use on the water quality

of Lake Taupo. 60th Jubilee Conference, Hamilton Gardens Pavilion, Hamilton, New Zealand, 26-29

June, 2000. Proc. New Zealand Society of Animal Production 60: 261-264] - Levels of the nitrogendependent

phytoplankton in Lake Taupo are currently very low, so the clarity of the lakewater is

exceptionally good. This is because loads of nitrogen to the lake from the catchment are currently low

(averaging 3-4 kg N/ha/yr.). Changing to more intensive land-uses is likely to increase the nitrogen

input. Converting 100-250 km2 of sheep/beef pasture to intensive dairying yielding 30 kg N/ha/yr.

wo