Cover Cropping & No-Tilling for Sustainable Dairy Feed & Forage
Feed is the biggest cost for dairy farmers. For farms with some land, incorporating cover crops and no-till could be a way to make feed and forage production more sustainable by preventing topsoil and nitrogen loss, and increasing harvested protein.
At Iowa’s Dairy Center, folks like David Lawstuen and Brodie Bushman are testing innovative yet practical ways to improve dairy sustainability. In this video, Dave and Brodie talk about the ten years’ worth of insight they’ve gained from growing no-till cover crop mixes on the farm to provide feed and forage for dairy cows and a beef cattle herd.
Iowa’s Dairy Center, located in Calmar, IA, is a cooperative research and education center supported by Iowa Dairy and Agriculture Foundation, Midwest Dairy, and Northeast Iowa Community College.
Dig deeper: Find more information about using cover crops and improving dairy sustainability below.
- “Using Cover Crops for Feed Production” by Dairy Herd Management, 2020.
- “Invited review: Sustainable forage and grain crop production for the US dairy industry” by Martin et al., 2017.
- “Effects of sustainable agronomic intensification in a forage production system of perennial grass and silage corn on nutritive value and predicted milk production of dairy cattle” by Koenig et al., 2023.
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