Economic and environmental evaluation of alternative farming systems for row crop and dairy farms in Northern Malheur County Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1z40kw141

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  • Malheur County is located in the southeast corner of Oregon and consists of about 64 million acres of which 260,000 acres is irrigated. Groundwater contamination has been found in a 115,000 acre area in Northeastern Malheur County. The main source of the groundwater contamination is agricultural practices. The overall objective of this research is to design and evaluate environmentally sound and economically feasible alternative row crop and dairy farming systems for Northern Malheur County. Previous research has commonly used linear programming and growth and physical simulation models for environmental and economic analysis. This research takes a different approach in that the baseline farming system and each alternative farming system for row crop and dairy farms had a detailed whole-farm budget completed and evaluated using Planetor. NLEAP was used to evaluate nitrogen leaching for the row crop alternatives. The row crop analysis results indicated that implementing best management practices (BMPs) to reduce soil erosion, water use, and nutrient runoff and leaching, can increase profits. The dairy farm analysis results indicated storing and applying dairy barn runoff was cost effective because of the savings in nutrients from storage.
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