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Five Steps to the Development and Implementation of a Feed Management Plan

July 8, 2013
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By J. H. Harrison and R. A. White, Washington State University; A. Sutton and Todd Applegate, Purdue University; Galen Erickson and Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska; R. Burns, Iowa State University

Introduction

This fact sheet has been developed to support the implementation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service Feed Management 592 Practice Standard. The Feed Management 592 Practice Standard was adopted by NRCS in 2003 as another tool to assist with addressing resource concerns on livestock and poultry operations. Feed management can assist with reducing the import of nutrients to the farm and reduce the excretion of nutrients in manure.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has adopted a practice standard called Feed Management (592) and is defined as "managing the quantity of available nutrients fed to livestock and poultry for their intended purpose". The national version of the practice standard can be found in a companion fact sheet entitled "An Introduction to Natural Resources Feed Management Practice Standard 592". Please check in your own state for a state-specific version of the standard.

The national Feed Management Education team has developed a systematic 5-step development and implementation process for the Feed Management Practice Standard as shown in figures 1 and 2. The steps of the flow diagram were chosen to coincide with the sections of the Feed Management Practice Standard. The first step focuses on defining the purpose(s) for considering the Feed Management Standard on a particular farm, either to: 1) feed to minimize excess nutrients in manure while maintaining production, performance, and reproduction, or 2) feed to improve net farm income by feeding more efficiently.

(Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production)

Why Consider Feed Management?

The first step focuses on defining the purpose(s) for considering the Feed Management Standard on a particular farm, either to: 1) feed to minimize excess nutrients in manure while maintaining production, performance, and reproduction, or 2) feed to improve net farm income by feeding more efficiently.

Key participants at step 1 would be the producer, the nutrient management planner, and NRCS staff.

Where Does the Practice Apply?

The second step of the flow diagram focuses on identifying the conditions where the practice applies and making an initial assessment of the opportunity for the full development of a Feed Management Plan. The conditions where the practice applies as noted the in 592 standard include:

  1. Whole farm imbalance
  2. Soil nutrient build-up
  3. Land base not large enough, or
  4. Seeking to enhance nutrient efficiencies.


After defining the condition(s) for use of the 592 standard, an opportunity checklist is then used make an initial assessment of developing a complete feed management plan. The opportunity checklist can be found in a companion fact sheet entitled "Use of the Opportunity Checklist in Feed Management Plan Development". The Opportunity Checklist can be found in species specific versions for beef, dairy, poultry and swine.

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RELATED TOPICS: Beef, Dairy, Livestock, Management, Nutrition

 
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