Title page for ETD etd-39581323973910

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author VanDyke, Laura Snively
URN etd-39581323973910
Title utrient Management Planning on Virginia Livestock Farms: Impacts and Opportunities for Improvement
Degree Master of Science
Department Agricultural and Applied Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Baker, James C.
Bosch, Darrell J. Committee Co-Chair
Pease, James W. Committee Co-Chair
  • nitrogen
  • nutrient management
  • simulation
  • linear programming
  • economic returns
Date of Defense 1997-01-31
Availability unrestricted
This study provides an environmental and economic analysis of the ability to

reduce potential nitrogen loadings to water bodies through the implementation of

nutrient management plans on livestock farms. Study results indicate that nutrient

management plans do result in significant reductions while maintaining or

increasing farm income. Nutrient management plans on the four case farms

reduced mean nitrogen losses by 23 to 45 percent per acre while increasing net

farm income from $395 to $7,249.

While reducing excess nitrogen applications with the implementation of nutrient

management plans achieved significant reductions in potential nitrogen losses,

further reductions may be achieved through farm level planning. After achieving

initial reductions through the elimination of excessive nutrient applications,

variation in application rates of organic and inorganic fertilizers across soils may

become important in achieving further reductions in nitrogen loss. Study results

suggest that it may be beneficial to apply higher rates of manure on soils and

slopes less susceptible to nitrogen losses in order to reduce applications

elsewhere. Increased nutrient losses on such fields may be more than offset by

reductions on soils more susceptible to nutrient losses. Linear programming

results for the Shenandoah Valley Dairy show that nitrogen losses could be

reduced up to 44 percent below pre-plan losses with no impact on farm net

economic returns. However, if nitrogen loss restrictions were instituted beyond

this level, the impact on farm income increases significantly. After-plan nitrogen

losses can reduced up to 52 percent, but farm returns decrease by 56 percent.

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