Bedded Pack Management System Case Study
Thurgood, John M.; Bagley, Paula C.; Comer, Challey M.; Flaherty, Daniel J.; Karszes, Jason; Kiraly, Mariane
Manure storage and application present challenges for managers of many small dairy farms. To be sustainable, manure systems must be environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically profitable for the farmer. One manure management system in limited use for dairy cows is a bedded pack. A bedded pack management system (BPMS) is defined here as a covered barnyard and feeding area that houses a variety of dairy cattle, storing their manure through the accumulation of an unturned bedding of dry material for later use as a nutrient amendment. The bedded pack management system may provide an effective alternative to the traditional suite of best management practices: manure storage, barnyard runoff management system, and improved feeding area/heavy use area protection. This case study evaluated the practical elements of BPMS design and the labor, management, and economic implications of the BPMS that was implemented on a farm participating in the Watershed Agricultural Council’s Agricultural Program in the New York City Watershed.