Sustainable Conservation, an environmental group recognized for its on-farm groundwater recharge projects, has released a report that bolsters support for a new tool for dairies. Applying liquid manure to forage crops through subsurface drip irrigation helps to improve water quality and climate resiliency for dairy communities, the group writes.

It “saves water, protects groundwater quality through precision nutrient application, and reduces irrigation-related greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the report.

With incentives grants from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the practice can result in a positive net gain of $97 per acre.

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At this year’s World Ag Expo in February, a representative from the irrigation company Netafim USA drew a standing room-only-crowd in his discussion on the approach. He explained how one irrigation system increased yields without using synthetic fertilizer or leaking nitrogen. 

Top photo: Sustainable Conservation Executive Director Ashley Boren sits on the State Board of Food and Agriculture.