Manure Manager

Features Applications Beef
Farming on lakeshore poses pollution dilemma


September 27, 2010
By Burlington Free Press

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September 22, 2010,
Shelburne, VT — Doe-colored Brown Swiss cows munch grass on the rolling
hillsides of Shelburne Farms, the 1,400-acre estate turned nonprofit
environmental education center and dairy farm on the shores of Lake Champlain.
September 22, 2010,
Shelburne, VT — Doe-colored Brown Swiss cows munch grass on the rolling
hillsides of Shelburne Farms, the 1,400-acre estate turned nonprofit
environmental education center and dairy farm on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Although dairy farming is
blamed for up to half of the lake’s fertilizer pollution problems, the scene
here looks clean and green: The farm’s 250 cattle are many fewer than the land
could bear. The farm grows no corn, a highly fertilized crop that invites
erosion and runoff. The cows’ ration is balanced to avoid excess nutrients that
end up in manure. The farm imports no fertilizer, uses no pesticides and
spreads its manure according to a plan designed to feed its hayfields only as
much as the grass needs.

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