Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Production of Fluid Milk


Crop production includes all the feed sources that are required to maintain the dairy herd and the resource inputs used to produce the crops. The type of feed depends on the animal management system—conventional or organic. Feeds may include mainly corn silage, corn grain, alfalfa hay and alfalfa silage, soybeans, soybean meal, wheat, oats, distiller's grains solids, with grasses, forage, and hay and dietary supplements such as minerals. The inventory would include the production of all feed crops raised on the farm, purchased from a vendor or other farm, or sold to another farm. In the United States, larger farms purchase feed while smaller farms grow their own feed (USDA Economic Research Service, 2007). A separate analysis would be conducted for the feed milling operations to account for its resource inputs such as fuel used in transportation and electricity. Other resource inputs in crop production include fuel for tractors and other equipment, water, machinery, fertilizer, pesticides, and packaging materials such as plastic and cardboard. Manure nutrients are a resource input if used in crop production unless some is removed for other uses outside of the production system.

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