NMPF, Newtrient Submit Joint Feed Management Comments

NMPF and Newtrient submitted joint comments to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service on June 15 supporting a modernized “NRCS Conservation Practice Standard 592 – Feed Management.” The portion of the feed management standard which addresses air quality was expanded to include ammonia, volatile organic compounds, greenhouse gases, and dust to be consistent, which will expand the opportunity for dairy farmers to use that standard for enteric methane-reducing feed additives.

Dairy farmers currently don’t use the Feed Management practice. NMPF and Newtrient anticipate that changes to the practice standard, along with updated cost share rates, will result in a practice that works for dairy farmers and result in reduced methane emissions. In reviewing data from NRCS related to dairy producers’ use of NRCS conservation programs between FY2014 and FY2020, dairy operators across the country had one contract for a Feed Management plan and only three associated with the use of the Feed Management Conservation Practice Standard. None of the contracts had financial assistance obligations associated with the Feed Management practices.

The most significant positive impact on the environment that in animal agriculture is the incredible efficiency that has been achieved by U.S. producers. This efficiency can be improved through the feed and feeding practices as new advances are made. The potential of using this NRCS Feed Management Conservation Practice Standard (592) is tremendous, particularly if it encourages the goal of increasing efficiency while reducing the environmental impact.