BACKGROUND: On dairy farms, the input of nutrients including nitrogen is higher than the output in products such as milk and meat. This causes losses of nitrogen to the environment. One of the indicators for the losses of nitrogen is the nitrogen use efficiency. In the Dutch Minerals Policy Monitoring Program (LMM), many data on nutrients of a few hundred farms are collected which can be processed by the instrument Annual Nutrient Cycle Assessment (ANCA, in Dutch: Kringloopwijzer) in order to provide nitrogen use efficiencies. RESULTS: After dividing the dairy farms (available in the LMM program) according to soil type and in different classes for milk production ha-1, it is shown that considerable differences in nitrogen use efficiency exist between farms on the same soil type and with the same level of milk production ha-1. CONCLUSION: This offers opportunities for improvement of the nitrogen use efficiency on many dairy farms. Benchmarking will be a useful first step in this process.
- Dairy farms
- Nitrogen use efficiency