The Chesapeake Bay -- about 235 miles down the Susquehanna River from New York's Southern Tier -- and other waterways might grow cleaner, thanks to new updates and improvements in a Cornell dairy nutrition model. The Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) is a model that helps farmers determine what to feed dairy cows to make milk production more efficient and environmentally friendly. And while less nitrogen makes its way into the manure and subsequent rain runoff flowing into the bay, farmers also might save money, according to research published in February in the journal Applied Animal Science. Through on-farm research in Broome, Tioga and Delaware counties in New York, co-authors Michael Van Amburgh, professor of animal science, and Larry Chase, professor emeritus of animal science, found that farmers can feed cows less protein, maintain a cow's milk-production output and reduce nitrogen in the manure, so that the nutrient does not run off into waterways and lakes. "I call it a win-win. The dairy farmers win because the cow is more efficient and more profitable. Society wins because we're now putting fewer nutrients back into the environment or into the water than we would have had we not made the adjustments," said Chase.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)