If the majority of dairy farms in Pennsylvania fully adopt conservation best-management practices, the state may be able to achieve its total maximum daily load water-quality target for the Chesapeake Bay, according to researchers.

That is the conclusion of a novel assessment of the simulated effects of implementing a conservation dairy-farming system on all dairy farms in the Spring Creek watershed, a small drainage in Centre County. In the simulations, the conservation dairy-farming systems — which have been developed and tested by Penn State researchers over the last decade — produce the majority of the feed and forage crops consumed by their cattle, use no-till planting, have continuous diversified plant cover, and have one system to employ manure injection.

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