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Resilience Research for Dairy Systems


In Vermont and in Northeast in general
we’ve seen an increase in extreme events over the past you know 30 to 40
years and this is really I think the number one climate change story for
farmers in Vermont we’re seeing increased nutrient losses, increased soil
losses, impacts with saturated soils on crops because of more moisture
and here in the Champlain Valley the dominant farming systems are
conventional dairy systems where we have a lot of cultivated
soils we grow a lot of hay and one of the things we’re looking
at with this project is how these extreme events the increasing frequency of
extreme events is impacting nutrient loss and soil loss from the landscape on
these farms that do rely upon manure and cultivated plowed ground
and hay fields like this for their feed production for their dairy cattle
with the the runoff instrumentation that we have we can accurately measure
how much phosphorus and how much nitrogen is leaving the landscapes when
we have these extreme events when we’re finished with the project we hope that
the information we gather the data we collect is able to inform farmers about
how to increase in the resilience of their farm to climate change in a
number of ways both financially protecting water quality even some
greenhouse gas mitigation benefits so that’s really the story we want to tell,
the results we want to be able to present to farmers of how effective these practices
are at building resilient dairy systems in Vermont and hopefully outside of
Vermont across the Northeast

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