Double Cropping Suggested for Northeast Dairy Farmer Climate Adaptation
Northeast dairy farmers struggling to produce feed and comply with nutrient-management regulations can benefit from double cropping and injecting manure into soils, says a research team led by Penn State. Professor Heather Karsten explains, “We have been trying to identify how to help dairy farms be profitable and produce more of their feed and forage crops while at the same time ease the challenges of nutrient management. Double cropping small grains such as winter wheat or winter rye and corn silages provides a strategy that can benefit dairy farms in the northeastern U.S. as they take advantage of a longer growing season. Also, subsurface application of manure may reduce nutrient losses as the region faces warmer temperatures and greater precipitation.” The researchers say that double cropping could help protect Northeast farmers from effects of summer droughts expected to become more common, while injecting manure rather than broadcasting it will help reduce nutrient runoff and emissions that would otherwise increase with expected higher summer temperatures.