Changes at Alfred State’s dairy farm are advancing environmental sustainability locally and globally. The move away from corn production on the College Farm to a grass-based, organic system reduces the use of fossil fuel for tillage, planting and harvesting, and eliminates the use of commercial fertilizer. By keeping the farm in perennial grasslands for grazing, soil organic matter and carbon sequestration markedly increase[i].
Located in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, our reduced impact on water resources is noteworthy as well. A grazing dairy on perennial grasslands dramatically reduces the soil erosion from exposed cropland and the accompanying phosphorus pollution that so seriously compromises the Chesapeake Bay.
[i]Recent (2011) research conducted by USDA scientists in nearby Pennsylvania documented carbon sequestration climbing from 0 to 3,400 pounds per acre per year in similar cropland to grassland conversion scenarios.