By Darryl Jones
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59-77. Studies show that the characteristic odour of dairy cattle facilities is a result of a complex mixture of many different compounds and of selective human sensitivity towards these compounds. , 2003). Soil quality Damage to soil quality from dairy production can occur from heavy metals present in manure, in particular copper and zinc, which are added to concentrate feeds and cadmium, a pollutant resulting from the inclusion of phosphate in feed. , 1998). Overgrazing of pasture by dairy cows may also result in the removal of vegetation cover beyond the level required for protecting soil which exacerbates soil erosion and reduces soil fertility.
By acidifying soils and limiting plant growth) and eutrophication of the environment with prolonged exposure to ammonia. g. wind, rain) in a particular region. 5 times higher than from arable land (CEAS, 2000). Data on ammonia emissions from dairy production are not available for many OECD countries. A recent study concluded that ammonia emissions from a representative dairy farm in the United Kingdom was equivalent to 57 kgN/ha, compared to 24 kgN/ha on a representative New Zealand farm, and remained twice as high when expressed on a per livestock unit or per unit of milk basis (Jarvis and Ledgard, 2002).
Again, four groupings of OECD countries can be identified. In Australia, Korea and New Zealand, the risk has increased as measured by an increase in both the contribution of dairy cows to total nitrogen input and the overall nitrogen balance between the two periods. In all three countries there has been a significant increase in milk production and a corresponding increase in the quantity of dairy cow nitrogen manure. These trends indicate that the expansion of dairy production in these countries is exerting a growing risk to the environment in terms of the potential release of nitrates from dairy farming into water bodies.