Collaboration to deal with thorny dairy water and waste problems

From Sandra Postel and National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative, the story of a collaboration among a dairy farmer, an irrigation tech company, and an environmental group to improve water efficiency in growing dairy forage crops and reduce the impact of dairy waste:

A 2015 pilot of the system on a 40-acre (16.2-hectare) field of silage corn at De Jager Farms produced stellar results. Water use efficiency increased by 38 percent, nitrogen use efficiency by 52 percent, and corn yield by 15 percent.

While saving water was Ray’s initial motivation, the reduced leaching of nutrients into groundwater could have broad societal benefits if more dairies adopt this innovative system.

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