HARNESSING BIODIVERSITY FOR HEALTHY DAIRY FARMS
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Key Laboratory of Plant-Soil Interactions, Ministry of Education, National Observation and Research Station of Agriculture Green Development (Quzhou, Hebei), China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
Producing sufficient high-quality forage to meet the increasing domestic demand for safe and nutritious milk products is one of the critical challenges that Chinese dairy farms are facing. The increased forage biomass production, mainly contributed by agrochemicals inputs in China, is accompanied by tremendous impacts on the ecology of dairy farms and soil quality. This paper presents a framework for healthy dairy farms in which targeted management practices are applied for quality milk products with minimal adverse environmental impacts. The paper also summarizes biodiversity management practices at the field and landscape scales toward lessening inputs of water, fertilizers, pesticides and mitigating soil compaction. Dairy farming with biodiversity-driven technologies and solutions will be more productive in producing quality milk and minimizing environmental damage.