Nutrient management improves forage, water quality on organic dairy
TILLAMOOK, Ore. - Keeping manure on the farm—and using it to increase production and profits—is important to organic farmers like Joe Price. Price operates a 300-acre organic dairy in Tillamook, Oregon. Since he can't use non-organic pesticides or chemical fertilizers on his farm, he relies on cow manure to maintain soil nutrients for grass growth. Price voluntarily signed up for a contract with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to help him get a nutrient management plan. These plans help farmers monitor nitrate levels in their soil so they can assess what areas of the farm need more or less fertilizer. The ultimate benefit is improved water quality due to reduced fertilizer run-off into streams and rivers. NRCS Oregon photo by Tracy Robillard.