The Changing Dairy Environment  



Environmental stewardship needs to be taken seriously by the entire dairy industry. As dairy producers and as a company that provides nutrient inputs to producers, we have a distinct responsibility to protecting environmental resources.


Pending Environmental Mandates & Government Assistance

Stringent environmental mandates will soon take effect across the country. Of particular concern is the EPA's new Confined Animal Feeding Operations rules that are expected to go into effect early next year. The development of an on-farm comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) is a component of this plan.


When considering compliance with the pending regulations, one must also consider  associated costs. One aspect of the new farm bill will help producers pay for facility improvements to meet new government regulations. A significant increase in the dollars available for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP) in included in the farm bill. A total of $9 billion has been earmarked with 60% of this going to livestock producers. Dairy producers should get one-third of the total EQUIP funding or $500 million per year for six years. If producers were funded the full $450,000 maximum, at the absolute minimum 1,100 dairy producers could receive grants each year. Under the new program, sufficient funds would be available to upgrade waste management facilities of all dairies with more than 200 cows. The program is based on a cost share basis, whereby the government pays 75% of the total cost and the producer 25%.


ADM Alliance Nutrition's Role

ADM Alliance Nutrition is actively involved in "eco-nutrition" research trials. These studies are examining several aspects of enhancing the nutrient efficiency of dairy diets. In addition to ongoing research, ADM Alliance Nutrition has met with key dairy nutrient management experts including Dr. Danny Fox from Cornell University, Dr. Rick Kohn from the University of Maryland, Dr. Zhiwago Wu from Penn State University, and Dr. Mary Beth Hall from the University of Florida to gain their insight on this important subject.

Products will continue to be reformulated to accommodate appropriate nutrient levels, including modification of phosphorus levels and enhancing the efficiency of protein fractions of the diet, thus minimizing nitrogen and phosphorus excretion. While these measures are important, a ration balancing program is needed that will enhance ration balancing precision and provide nutrient excretion data. A new ADM Alliance Nutrition ration balancing model will provide Alliance Nutrition dairy specialists with a critical tool to accomplish this objective. Producers will need to monitor several aspects of their feeding program to ensure ration integrity and minimization of nutrient excesses. The ADM Alliance Dairy Solutions Team is working on several on-farm Total Quality Management modules to assist our dairy clients in this area. 


ADM Alliance Nutrition is positioned to assist dairy clients in achieving their nutrient management goals:

  • Extensive research in the area of "eco-nutrition" and ingredient efficiency.

  • Dairy feed formulations balanced with nutrient and cost efficiency in mind.

  • Advanced ration balancing software to maximize ration balancing precision, thus minimizing nutrient excesses.

  • Dairy Total Quality Management Program to help producers refine management practices on the farm that equate to greater nutrient efficiency.


ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc. , a wholly owned subsidiary of the Archer Daniels Midland Company