Dairy farmers in the Northeast are facing a warming climate that exacerbates nutrient pollution but lengthens the growing season. The farmers can decrease the environmental impact of their operations and even potentially maximize their revenues by double cropping and injecting manure into the soil.
Dairy farms, primarily in the Northeast, are continuously subject to more strict regulations in order to reduce nutrient losses.
With warmer conditions that can result in increased ammonia volatilization from manure and more severe storms that can cause more soluble phosphorus runoff, new strategies are necessary to limit nitrogen and phosphorus losses from crop fields.
Researchers are reporting that double cropping and subsurface injection of manure can reduce total nitrogen losses by 12%-18% and phosphorus losses by 16%-19%.
Adoption of these strategies can provide a feasible adaptation and mitigation approach for future climate by reducing projected increases in soluble phosphorus runoff and ammonia emissions that are caused by warmer temperatures and greater precipitation.
Overall, these benefits can be achieved while maintaining and potentially reducing total farm-production costs.