The feat is to pick up the pace.
New Mexico is known for stark White Sands and surreal bat caves, not for green pastures. A natural result is public surprise at the numbers reached by the New Mexico dairy industry.
Dairy is the number one agricultural business in New Mexico. New Mexico ranks eighth in the nation in the value of dairy products. California tops the list.
From 2001 to 2006, New Mexico’s milk production was the fourth fastest growing in the U.S., with a growth of 33 percent over five years.
How does a large and fast-growing dairy business tend cows with no pastures? The answer is feedlots.
Feedlots are large arrays of pens with provisions to feed lots of cows. New Mexico has more than 350,000 milk cows on some 150 dairy farms. Having 2,000 cows in a feedlot is typical.
You don’t have to be an old cowhand to guess the by-product and problems that come from a pen of 2,000 cows.
An average dairy cow produces six or seven gallons of milk a day and 18 gallons of wet manure. The story thickens.
Nitrogen has key roles in nature’s schemes for all major life forms. The involved pathways are found under the heading “nitrogen cycle.”