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Nutrient and trace element flows and balances at the Öjebyn dairy farm

aspects of temporal and spatial variation and management practices

Bengtsson, Helena (2005). Nutrient and trace element flows and balances at the Öjebyn dairy farm. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2005:2
ISBN 91-576-7001-3
[Doctoral thesis]

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A better understanding of on-farm element flows is required to reduce element imbalances leading to either high element loads or deficiencies in arable soils. Element balance calculations at farm/field level can be a tool for evaluation of farming systems, both from an environmental and from sustainable nutrient management perspective. The overall aim of the present thesis was to contribute to the development of element balances as a sustainability tool. The work included evaluation of different aspects of uncertainty associated with element balance calculations, in order to provide a better basis for the interpretation. The Öjebyn dairy farm (65o21'N, 21o24'E) where organic and conventional production had been practiced in paralell since 1988 was used as a case study. The main objective was to study macronutrient (N, P, K, Mg) and trace element (Cd, Cu, Zn) flows and balances at farm-gate, barn and field level during a 3- to 5-year period in organic and conventional dairy production. By monitoring nutrient balances at different scales it was possible to quantify the internal flows and to identify sinks and sources not revealed by determining nutrient balances at farm-gate alone. At field level, the element imbalances of most concern were negative K balances in the organic system (–17 kg ha-1 yr-1) and positive Cd and Zn balances in the organic respective conventional system (0.35-0.52 g ha-1 yr-1 and 295-449 g ha-1 yr-1). The temporal and spatial variation was large and influenced the outcome and the interpretation of the balance calculation. It was also demonstrated that spatial variation, in terms of local soil characteristics, had to be considered in the comparisons between two farming systems. In many cases the calculated error in the element concentration contributed to the uncertainty in the field flows to the same extent as the amount of material (e.g. biomass). The metal balance was shown to be estimated with least precision e.g. due to large variation in the water run-off flow. Generally, to increase the accuracy and usefulness of element balances farm-specific data should be used for home-produced feed and manure/urine. To include the variation in the balance calculation should be a standard part of element balance calculation procedure.

Authors/Creators:Bengtsson, Helena
Title:Nutrient and trace element flows and balances at the Öjebyn dairy farm
Subtitle:aspects of temporal and spatial variation and management practices
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :January 2005
Number of Pages:48
ALLI. Bengtsson, H., Öborn, I., Jonsson, S, Nilsson, I. & Andersson, A. 2003. Field balances of some mineral nutrients and trace elements in organic and conventional dairy farming – a case study at Öjebyn, Sweden. European Journal of Agronomy 20, 101-116. II. Bengtsson, H., Jonsson, S. & Öborn, I. Variation in element flows and field balances – a three-year case study in organic and conventional dairy systems at the Öjebyn Farm. (Submitted to Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems) III. Bengtsson, H., Alvenäs, G., Nilsson, S.I., Hultman, B. &. Öborn, I. Cadmium, copper and zinc leaching and surface run-off losses at the Öjebyn farm in Northern Sweden – temporal and spatial variation. (Submitted to Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment) IV. Öborn, I., Modin-Edman, A-K, Bengtsson, H., Gustafson, G.M., Salomon, E., Nilsson, S.I., Holmqvist, J., Jonsson, S. & Sverdrup, H. A systems approach to assess farm scale nutrient and trace element dynamics. (Submitted to AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-7001-3
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
P Natural resources > P35 Soil fertility
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:dairy farms, trace elements, leaching, soil fertility, organic agriculture, sustainability, sweden
Keywords:Farm-gate balance, field balance, nutrient management, organic farming, trace metal, leaching, surface run-off, sustainability, uncertainty
Permanent URL:
ID Code:728
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil Sciences (until 081001)
Deposited By: Helena Bengtsson
Deposited On:12 Jan 2005 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:06

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